The Purple Meridians: Epigenetics of Joy - part 2
The filmmakers coined the Epigenetics of Joy, an operative term by which to resist the accumulation of trauma: the possibility to heal and recuperate knowledge and memory through audiovisual objects, and in dialogue with each other: a memory collective.
In a mutual interview held in December 2022, Ro Caminal and Mariangela Ciccarello, two of The Purple Meridians participants, talk about their filmmaking, their influences and common themes in their work.
Having both arrived at the audiovisual medium in their 30s and 40s, they discuss the early, almost subconscious influence of films watched in adolescence, and the subsequent, more conscious choice to follow the alternative example of filmmakers such as Safi Faye, Chantal Akerman, Agnes Varda and Marguerite Duras.
Both films available on Streeen as part of this programme are dedicated to prominent women from Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope and Calypso respectively: the two filmmakers discuss this common thread in their work, and their common desire to place these characters front and centre in the narrative, transposing them into the contemporary world.
Ro Caminal’s Unfolding Penelope (2017) upends the colonial gaze by staging a re-enactment of true stories by Senegalese women who have to negotiate social and personal pressures while waiting for their husbands to return from Europe. A couple of years before Mati Diop’s Atlantics (2019),
Ro Caminal’s short film, which was preceded also by a play produced in collaboration with the Senegalese Company Copin’Arts, re-appropriates the figure of Penelope by making her the narrator of the story.
Similarly, in Mariangela Ciccarello’s Calypso (2021), two young actresses in Naples are preparing for a play based on the Odyssey.
The film merges myth, truth, and re-enactment by asking the question:
what would happen if Ulysses was a woman? This gesture of substitution empties out the foundational position of the Odyssey’s female figures as that of waiting (for Ulysses to come back, like Penelope, or for him to leave, like Calypso).
The two films, therefore, with the Mediterranean as their stage, and mythology as their arsenal, reach very different formal solutions: the static, frontal interviews and accompanying text of Unfolding Penelope, as well as its division into acts, render the testimonies of our Penelopes unambiguous and powerful. Conversely, the mix of hand-held close-up shots and super-8 intervals in Calypso create an ambiguous and open-ended space of experimentation.
Epigenetics of Joy - Part 2 - Double interview
Directed by Ro Caminal, Mariangela Ciccarello
In a mutual interview held in December 2022, Ro Caminal and Mariangela Ciccarello, two of The Purple Meridians participants, talk about their filmmaking, their influences and common themes in their work.Go to movie
Directed by Ro Caminal ( 2017 , 20' )
Departing from the title, the video establishes a divergent parallelism between the spouses of the Senegalese immigrants and Odyssey’s’ Penelope.Go to movie
Directed by Mariangela Ciccarello ( 2021 , 47' )
Angela and Paola are preparing a play loosely based on The Odyssey. Angela assumes the role of Ulysses and Paola that of his lover who has summoned him from the dead for a final meeting.Go to movie