Borders (film)

First presented at Happening 2019 with Shouskollektivet

Director & editor: Sophie Barth

Sophie Barth travelled to Happy Days International Samuel Beckett festival in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during the summer 2019. She started to document her travel with her father whom is featuring is the film, and who had an important impact on the overall documentation of the journey. Not all of the material is featuring in the film, but their conversations have influenced how she worked with the material upon returning home. Hence, she chose to split the narrative in two: One part is her father reading from his morning writing sessions and the second part is her reflecting a few months later. Sophie is interested in her memory of the journey – capturing the here and now and later trying to assemble it. Instead of thinking of ‘what actually happened’, she is trying to ask the question ‘how does the material translate into another time?’.

For the purpose of “emptying” herself, Sophie sat down with the recorder back home in Norway and let the words just flow as they wanted. No major edits, no self-censoring. She noticed she used the phrase “you know” all the way through after listening to the soundtrack. It is not normally something she would use very extensively, yet, here she keeps on repeating it like a sort of rhythm. Is it a rhythm that she needs in order to remember the journey?

Nature plays a big part of the visual narrative, and there is a sense of green open landscapes that capture the potentiality of the place. Something could or should happen, but perhaps never does. The invisible border of Northern Ireland prompts a reflection on how we move as travellers, and what role we take on in this process.

Borders is a film about learning about Beckett, but also memory as a key component of documentation, and how it can be edited into becoming something else.

Return by Theodor Barth: