An Ecstatic Experience


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

An Ecstatic Experience
"Light, almost ethereal, despite the weight of its subject matter."

Mixing media with abandon, An Ecstatic Experience is completely composed of archival and found footage, sometimes directly modifed - etching directly onto 16mm to highlight and perhaps subvert and create a document of a meeting that did and did not occur.

Shown as part of the short film strand at Glasgow's Short Film Festival, this constructed meditation on "what we accept as a justifiable response to brutality" is light, almost ethereal, despite the weight of its subject matter. In Q&A at EIFF creator, Ja'Tovia Gary, talked about "transcendence as a form of resistance" and its mixture of cellphone video and television specials with choral elements and direct intermediation through material and unflinching performative testimonial and even violence is powerful through, building a portrait of a struggle still ongoing, still not won. Part of the creator's "hope [was] that people will want to know more", and in the depth of its allusion and intersection it is certainly the case.

In its juxtapositions, its examination of forms of resistance "not sanctioned by the state", in its mixture of holy ghost and crowd psychology it creates something transformative, transporting. There is a narrative implied, but it is as the sea drawn by the tide-line - however powerful the forces behind, sometimes all that is left are marks.

Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2017
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A meditative invocation on transcendence as a means of restoration.

Director: Ja'Tovia Gary

Writer: Ja'Tovia Gary

Year: 2015

Runtime: 6 minutes

Country: US


EIFF 2016
GSFF 2017

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