Staff Pick: Ane Lopez Lopez, Marketing Coordinator
17th November 2020
South African filmmaker, visual artist and film theorist Jyoti Mistry leaves us speechless with her film Cause of Death; a poetic yet painful and visceral experimental autopsy report on how women have been written out of history. It plays as a seamless combination of film footage, animation and spoken word poetry.
Mistry’s fascination with traces of historical routes and the use of film as an exploratory tool for bridging history and geography is very present in this film. Hundreds of anonymous women from an array of countries, cultural backgrounds and ethnicities are packed into a breathtakingly beautiful, ripping and rhythmic 19 minutes.
I was particularly fascinated by the bold and uncompromising use of sound: bones cracking, machinery humming, rocks pounding and flames roaring, which offers a radically new and sensory journey through history. The archive footage is accompanied by the spoken word, powerfully voiced by Napo Masheane in a way that urgently demands to be heard. Finally, the delicate drawings often superimposed on the film footage reveal the forgotten pain behind the female bodies.
Cause of Death is necessarily haunting and can be watched alongside the other four animations within the Africa Animated package that explore sensitive and taboo topics in a creative way.
By Ane Lopez Lopez