Plato's cave

Screening of "Light Denied"
Photo by Pawel Soja

The whiteness of the screen comes from Greece, the original playground of Dionysus. Greece's Elefsina and Myceene are the key Greece locations I used in "Light Denied", a docu-fiction essay. The film attempts to explore the Dionysian light as a challenging, disturbing and inspiring force which although dangerous is essential to life and as such cannot be denied.

The life giving light seem to come from many sources - some mysteriously internal, others frequently disguised as synchronistic external chances or personal messages the universe patiently puts in front of our oblivious selves. It takes guts to follow the light - I suspect most of us shy away from its challenges and instead opt for living in its reflected glow. Watching a film (and making one!) can be such a trap. Unless one uses the process in an active, enriching way.

The above photo was taken during a recent screening of “Light Denied” at the 2009 International Philosophical Film Festival. Pawel Soja, a young cinematographer from the filmmaking workshop I conducted at the previous IPFF, pressed the shutter at just the right moment.

This time the light comes from the screen itself. Nietzsche (the main figure of the film) most likely lost his mind because he, rather than looking at the screen as we all do, turned his head around and stared right into the blazing abyss, the unfiltered raw power, the Dionysian fuel of life.

The Nietzschean quest was a courageous act. Can we follow him and remain sane? Can we, seating in a movie theater, turn passive spectacles into an eye, soul, mind and heart opening encounter? Can we by doing so unchain ourselves from the limitations of the Plato's caves? Can we do the same as filmmakers? Or rather: are we allowed not to do so if we want to fill the screens with significance and meaning?

1 comment:

  1. Made me think of this here shot from CITIZEN KANE: