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UK Premiere: The American Sector (12A*) + ScreenTalk with directors Courtney Stephens & Pacho Velez, and Dr Martin Brady

Architecture on Film

A still of a man standing by some Berlin Wall in documentary The American Sector

Following its fall in 1989, many sections of the Berlin Wall migrated to the US. A cinematic road trip to these artefacts of geopolitical division becomes a nuanced reflection on ‘the free world’. 

Vignettes in 16mm capture these slabs of the Wall in their eccentric, wide-ranging American situ – from behind the Hard Rock Café in Universal Studios, to George W Bush’s Presidential Library – while collected conversations with the relics' custodians, owners and passers-by, allow the Wall’s mute concrete to become a conduit for discussions of present day freedom, borders, and nationhood.

By travelling to over 60 of these historical fragments – while debates over border walls and historical monuments run rampant – through careful montage and juxtaposition, this documentary weaves a powerful patchwork exploring symbolism and America’s ongoing construction of its own identity.

Following the film, directors Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez are conversation with Dr Martin Brady, Reader in German and Film Studies, King’s College London.
 

US 2020 Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez 70 min

Curated by the Architecture Foundation

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