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Friday, May 13, 2016 - 9:00pm


Isiah Medina  | 
Canada |
 2015 | 
65 minutes

88:88 is a film and also a philosophical essay. Taking inspiration from the French theorist and political activist Alain Badiou, Isiah Medina’s ferociously intelligent debut attempts to intersect the four conditions that Badiou says make up the essence of philosophy: art, politics, science, and love. This may sound abstract and weighty, but 88:88 is not just a heady affair. At its core, it is a personal meditation on family, friendship, and the experience of living in poverty. (The title refers to what happens if you don’t pay the electric bill — 88:88 flashes on stoves and alarm clocks when the power is turned back on.)

As Medina documents the life of his friends living in a low-income neighbourhood in Winnipeg, moments of raw emotion are brought to the fore. Scenes of a couple lounging in their bedroom and friends skateboarding on Portage Avenue are carried along by a hazy soundscape composed of intimate monologues about family struggle, existential conversations, and passages read aloud from Badiou’s texts. Silence also plays a considerable role here — with gaps in audio reminiscent of streaming video being choked by slow Internet speed. Combine this with an extremely dense editing style, and 88:88 starts to feel like an audio-visual endurance test. Critics and cinephiles around the world have embraced this glitched-out social doc, propelling Medina onto the international art house film stage — and with good reason. 88:88 strips image and sound of their representational power, allowing the viewers to confront the very essence of cinema. The result is a critical reflection on documentary form that also offers viewers a healing and regenerative moment. -SC

Preceded By
Aaron Zeghers | 
Canada |
 2015 | 
20 minutes

A cinematic collage constructed out of footage from handcrafted pinhole cameras, 16mm film, and digital video, captures the dissolution of the filmmaker’s intergenerational family farm in Manitoba. -SC


Isiah Medina

Isiah Medina was born in 1991. He makes cinema and lives in Toronto.