WHY I WRITE just received the well deserved prize for the Best Poem Performance on Film at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival 2012.

Kosal Khiev, featured in a movie by Masahiro Sugano, gave an impressive live performance at the award ceremony. A true highlight of this year´s Zebra.

WHY I WRITE is the first episode in a series of spoken word videos by Khmer American exile Khiev Kosal in collaboration with Studio Revolt. Kosal, a poet and tattoo artist resides in Phnom Penh after spending 14 years of his life in a U.S. prison. Kosal tells pieces of his story through the art of spoken word poetry. His poetry is ripped from his guts and excavated from a place between confinement and freedom. Raw and unassuming, his performance makes walls disappear leaving room only for emotions. This spoken word video is an act for Kosal to reclaim his place in the world as a free man, a step that begins in Cambodia not America.

2011 / HD Video / 7 min 30 sec / Spoken Word
Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Masahiro Sugano
Artist: Kosal Khiev
Producer: Anida Yoeu Ali
Production Coordinator: Thea Som

for more visit Spoken Kosal

DAY 4, Feb 12th


There was a time when Sundays were considered, well, less than Saturday, but not in Berlin, and certainly not at [DL8] (a.k.a. the 8th Berlin International Directors Lounge Film Festival) tonight, with “My Sweet Canary” by Roy Sher taking us on a roller coaster romp of a ride through the life of 1930’s chanteuse extraordinaire Roza Eskenazi, the “Diva of Rebetiko”, who inspired male mania and more in Greece and Turkey of the day. Don’t miss it, at 18:00, or the Zebra Poetry Film Festival selection at 20:00, with Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel on hand to present the proceedings. Hear with your eyes and see with your ears…. Then comes “Parasiten der Ohnmacht” (“Parasites of Powerlessness” or “Parasites of Swoon”, depending on how you want to take it) at 22:00, with actor Birol Ünel reading bizarre and nightmarish short stories from the book of the same name by Miron Zownir. Also available as audio book set to music by F.M. Einheit of Einstürzende Neubauten. But live is live!                                                                  

                                                                              KT/Team DL

pictured: Halbdichtheiten by Ralph Kühne as part of the ZEBRA POETRY FILM FESTIVAL, selected by Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel

Sun 20th 6pm

supporting film: Ofir Feldmann, Poetic Account, 1 min 8s, 2010 world premiere

“Poetic” is one of the six different personal word accounts offered by WordBank, that differ from one another in their socio-linguistic register.

ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival 2010 selected and presented by Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel 

Martin Earle  GB A Galaxy over there 7min 40s 2009

Ye Mimi TW They are there but I am not 6min 57s 2009

Natalia Almada F  Threshold Songs  10min 2009

Reynold Reynolds DE Letzter Tag der Republik 8min 2009

Joanna Priestly US Missed Aches 4min 2009

Marie Silkeberg  SE ÖDELÄGGELSE IV stockholm | gaza 2009 6min 55s 2009

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl IS Höpöhöpö Böks 4min 17s 2008

Andrew Steggall  GB To the Marriage of True Minds 11min 20s 2010

Vessela Dantcheva  D/BG  Anna Blume 9min 2009

Robert Pohle, Martin Hentze DE Der Conny ihr Ponny 5min 2008

GOOD MORNING AMERICA, Director: Dikran Janus Kadagian US Poet: Carl Sandburg 6min 43s 2007

The sight of American children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance always has the feel of a strange rite of induction into a society that demands obedience from very early on, before one has the chance to sort out for oneself how close to the national flag one wishes to stand. The film opens with late 50’s or early 60’s shots of this ritual in close-up shots of individual children’s faces, all with eyes that seem devoid of any expression, as though brain-washed, and moves to a classroom shot of the same children singing “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” to the ominous sound of extended bassoon tones and a gentle music-box melody. Rural scenes at dusk follow, and we are reminded that “In God We Trust” in stamped into every U.S. silver dollar over shots of helmeted soldiers preparing their tents in the warm glow of a sunset. From the poem we hear that “we” is “you and me and all of us in the United States of America” while we see diverse scenes of disparate people in varying situations: a baby in a park, newlyweds leaving a church, a “man of the cloth” walking on a congested urban street. The sped-up vintage shots of crowds making their way through traffic are a forerunner of Koyaanisqatsi (as are later scenes of industrialization). “Trusting God means we give ourselves, all of ourselves, the whole United States of America, to God, the Great One,” we hear, followed by, “Yes, perhaps… is that so?”, upon which the title “Good Morning America” appears, and is seen by the viewer not as a greeting, but as a wake-up call. The film moves to scenes of automated mass production, seeming no less alienating or alienated than the children’s faces seen earlier, while the poem continues: “Speed, speed, we are the makers of speed.” Both man and machine hold a strange fascination here, for, whatever the intent, the repetitive nature of both recitation and mass production are hypnotic. Intermittently, we see the products in their finished and ready-to-display form, as if being reminded what all the industrialization is for. The unconscious connection is that the children seen earlier are similarly “processed”, made into shiny, normed products that serve a selected purpose. Speed was also involved in reaching children before it was too late; it came from “us” the reader emphasizes over and over again in a forceful reading of the poem. “Put the blame on us”. The foreboding tones offset by a sweet, aimless melody continue as we see the final shot, sheets of dollar bills being removed from presses for quick inspection. Speed meets value meets values. A good recitation and a well put together short film.

Kenton Turk

ON DEATH, Director:  Anastassios Langis GR Poet: George V. Markis 6min 24s 2007

Here we are witness to (apparently the ghost of) a boy of about ten who recites a 1943 poem by George V. Markris. His delivery is strangely impassioned and dispassionate, something like the style adopted by Juan Perón and others in addressing the masses. The underlying hollow hum is an unsettling element in the proceedings. Standing alternately before a horse, Greek flags waved in a street demonstration, and other incongruous scenes for the pontificating youth’s presence, he tells us more of his “infinite deaths” (including one in Paris, of syphilis), but fails to truly connect. One can’t help feeling the child used is so wholly unaware of the meaning of what he is saying that he might as well be reciting the ingredients in a recipe. Still, the juxtaposition is an interesting idea, but might have been served better with a child more given to flights of fantasy, possibly a younger child with a more intense sense of drama often accompanying “play-acting”.

Kenton Turk

Fri 19th 8 pm

Curated and presented by Thomas Zandegiacomo de Bel

Assorted highlights from the biannual ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival which has established itself as an international forum for short films that deal with the content, aesthetics or form of poems.

Between Shower And Shower by Yu Ya-Chen

Je liegt en je filtert, Poet: Paul Bogaert

Ein Übungsdiktat. Mädchen in einer schulischen schwarz-weiß Kulisse.
A dictation exercise. Girls in an educational black&white setting.

Chernobyl, Poet: John Giorno

Tiefgründige Vorschläge, deren Ziel es ist, die Angst vor nuklearen Katastrophen zu zerstreuen.
Deep suggestions aiming to dissipate the fear of a nuclear catastrophe.

Ma kuklas tunnen, Poet: Jüri Ürdi

Bevor Blicke anderen Blicken begegnen, werden sie niedergeschlagen.
Before eyes meet other eyes they are cast down.

One Miles Platting Station, Poet: Simon Armitage

Eine poetische Reise nach Manchester.
A poetic journey to Manchester.

Qué se ama cuando se ama, Poet: Gonzalo Rojas

Über den metaphysischen Sinn von Liebe, reisend durch die Erinnerung zweier Liebenden.
About metaphysical sense of love, travelling through the memory of two

The Acrobat, Poet: Ryan Kamstra

Eine Beziehungserörterung von Gravitation und Politik – die Schönheit und die Notwendigkeit des Aufstiegs.
A consideration of the relationship of gravity and politics – the beauty
and necessity of rising up.

On Death, Poet: George V. Markis

Der Geist eines kleinen Jungen treibt sich in einer Stadt umher.
The ghost of a little boy drifts around the city.

Mainos asuntolainasta, Poet: Eino Santanen

Es geht schon auf acht am Abend zu, aber von der Liebe ist auch noch etwas da.
It is already approaching eight in the evening but there is still some
love left.

Good Morning, America, Poet: Carl Sandburg

Was verehren wir? Gott, Land oder die Schnelligkeit?
What do we worship; God, country or speed?

Between Shower and Shower, Poet: Yu Xia

Einsamkeit ist ein wichtiger Gegenstand innerhalb und außerhalb der Bilder des Films.
Loneliness is an important topic inside and outside the pictures of the

Nachash Nachash, Poet: T. Carmi

Eine chaotische, hoffnungslose Tänzerin versucht die bösen Mächte zu beschwören.
A chaotic, desperate dancer tries to conjure up the forces of evil.

Palimpsest, Poet: André Corboz

Das Land, beschaffen aus uraltem Schichtwerk, wird unentwegt von seinen Bewohnern gelesen.
A land, consisting of millenial-old shifts, is read by its occupants

Kom leg uw hoofd neer, Poet: Miguel Declercq

Zwei Männer schlafen Hand in Hand. Was ist ihre Geschichte?
Two men are sleeping hand in hand. What’s their story?

Cul de sac, Poet: Benedict Newbery

Über das Kleinstadtleben und seine Menschen.
About small town and its people.

Jeder Text ist ein Wortbruch, Poet: Kathrin Schmidt

Fragmente alter Filme, deren Filmschicht bis zur Unkenntlichkeit zerfallen ist und neue Formen bildet.
Fragments of old films whose emulsion has crumbled though creating new

Coach No 143, Poet: Vladislav Drozhashikh

Was wird ein Menschenleben im 20. Jh. bedeuten, und was kann der Mensch vom 20. Jh. erwarten?
What will human life mean in the 20th century and what can we expect from
the 20th century?

Paul Bogaert NL Je liegt en je filtert 2min 40s 2007

Antonio Poce IT Chernobyl 4min 2007

Priit Pärn, Olga Marchenko EE Ma kuklas tunnen 2min 2007

Kate Jessop GB One Miles Platting Station 2min 32s 2007

Cristían Tàpies Goldenberg CL Qué se ama cuando se ama 1min 23s 2006

Chris Kennedy US The Acrobat 6min 2007

Anastassios Langis GR On Death 6min 24s 2007

Akseli Tuomivaara FI Mainos asuntolainasta 3min 27s 2005

Dikran Janus Kadagian US Good Morning, America 6min 43s 2007

Yu Ya-Chen TW Between Shower and Shower 5min 40s 2007

Avi Dabach, Iris Erez IL Nachash Nachash 6min 38s 2008

Eva Sommeregger AT Palimpsest 2min 40s 2008

Wouter Sel BE Zuurstokkleuren 2min 5s 2006

Sandra Ensby GB Cul de sac 2min 11s 2008

Betina Kuntzsch DE Jeder Text ist ein Wortbruch 6min 50s 2008

Viktor Naymushin RU 143-i Vagon 3min 48s 2008