déjà vu

Somewhere in a subtropical country white visitors crowd around dark-skinned plantation workers emptying their harvest baskets. They look curious, as if wanting to test the quality of the tea leaves. Everywhere tourists take out their cameras – whether in front of large animals in the wild or camel riders, whether in the face of decorated human bodies or daily work routines.

Now and again they look into the camera themselves. For later, for when they will proudly show their "exotic" finds at home. This posing contains a model of western travels and picture making which is over a century old.

The fascinated gaze on the foreigners fixes them in pre-formed frames. Lisl Ponger follows the trail of that gaze by taking amateur found footage material and linking it together in new ways. She summons up atmospheric background sounds and adds a series of voices. With a subtle distance to the visual foreground, those people who are pictured in the west as much more homogenous than they are have the word – in the diverse languages of the "other". They tell, untranslated, of their experiences with various forms of colonialism – whether as subjects in their own countries or as the expelled and transformed "foreigner".
Lisl Ponger strings the shots together on a thread, a red one – both in the chromatic and symbolic sense. The sound helps these pictures from the continents of the southern hemisphere to resonate with narrative character. The voices are not allowed to domainate the images, but déjà vu takes a risk by letting the multiplicity of languages speak for themselves. It is a film which does not impart security but poses questions. (Christa Blümlinger)

watch the movie online @ MUBI.com


Orig. Title
déjà vu
23 min
Lisl Ponger
Orig. Language
Lisl Ponger
Lisl Ponger
Lisl Ponger
Sound Mix
Dietmar Schipek
Shaheen Merali, André Mawazo-Mukalay, Mahmoud Lamine, Reneé Gadsen, Karim Duarte, Ana Schey, Pemba Doma Sherpa, Alexilia Pichler
Executive Producer
Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu
Available Formats
35 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Dolby Surround
Frame Rate
24 fps
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Nyon - Dokumentarfilm Festival
Melbourne - Int. Film Festival
Austin - Cinetexas - Int. short film&video&new media festival
Cork - Int. Film Festival
Winterthur - Kurzfilmtage
Duisburg - Duisburger Filmwoche
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Luzern - VIPER - Int. Film und Video Festival
Leipzig - Dok Leipzig - Int. Festival für Dok.- u. Animationsfilm
Rotterdam - Int. Filmfestival
Pesaro - Film Festival
Madrid - Semana de Cine Experimental
Montréal - Festival International du Nouveau Film et de la Video
Split - Festival of New Film and Video
Utrecht - Impakt Festival
München - Int. Dokumentarfilmfestival
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival
Istanbul - Int. Short Film Festival
Winterthur - Kurzfilmtage
Tokyo - Image Forum Festival
Utrecht - Impakt Festival