Sven Augustijnen: Spectres


Thursday, April 3, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Sven Augustijnen in person

Confronting the authorized version of an atrocity committed during the early days of post-colonial African rule, Sven Augustijnen's Spectres (2011) focuses a critical eye on the official account of the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congo's first elected Prime Minister. The film begins a half-century later as the filmmaker sets off in the company of an amiable former Belgian civil servant-turned-historian on a journey in which the political soon becomes personal and standard notions of historical evidence begin to veer into Errol Morris terrain. Spectres vividly demonstrates that reconciliation always begins by uncovering the truth.

2011, Belgium, HDCam, 104 min + discussion

Sven Augustijnen (b. 1970, Mechelen, Belgium) studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Hoger Sint-Lukas Instituut in Brussels, and at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His work concentrates mainly on the tradition of portraiture and the porous boundaries between fiction and reality, using a hybrid of genres and techniques to disorienting effect. His films have been included in exhibitions and festivals in Athens, Basel, Fribourg, San Sebastián, Siegen, Rotterdam, Tunis, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Vilnius, among others. In 2011 he received the Evens Prize for Visual Arts. Augustijnen lives and works in Brussels.