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This year, at the International Documentary Film Festival Flahertiana, the program "A Keyhole of Time" dedicated to amateur film chronicles will once again hit Perm screens. Last year, it was a collection of footage from France and Perm from the 1940s to the 1970s. This year it features two full-length Russian premieres from Brazil and Israel, selected by film critics and curators Marina Drozdova and Aleksandr Kiselev.

"This year, the program includes two documentary films entirely based on amateur footage. They are focused on analyzing and demonstrating the manipulations that are not shied away from – and sometimes even sought after – by well-intentioned people with movie cameras who call themselves cinephiles. They are usually fun-loving, but not always their goals are trivial, such as a birthday cake, kids' play, a wedding fuss, or picnics. Be on your guard: they often succumb to the temptation of altering reality. A soft "cranberry", harmless retouching of reality, like capturing a family farce in a home movie album: a total mix-up of smiles and puffed-up cheeks. And all these tricks and ploys happen in seemingly peaceful shots. However, don't be deceived. “The Camera of Doctor Morris” and “Private Footage” are two cinematic novels that tell differently about the deceptive and illusory authenticity of amateur filming," says the program curator Marina Drozdova.

The film by Brazilian director Janaina Nagata, "Private Footage" was shown at one of the world's major documentary film festivals, IDFA, and received a nomination for the IDFA ReFrame Award for sound and image. This film is a historical detective. In 2018, Janaina Nagata bought an old reel for a 16mm projector online. It turned out to contain vacation footage of a couple and their little daughter in South Africa. Digitizing this seemingly innocent footage of family vacations, the director shows in the film how she conducted research on the recorded reality from open sources (googling people in portraits, signs, hotel and store names), gradually revealing a horrifying system of discrimination against indigenous people and their struggle for liberation.

In a completely different way, the film "The Camera of Doctor Morris" by directors Itamar Alcalay and Meital Zvieli touches the audience. It is a chronicle of the life of an English doctor and his wife who settled in Israel in the 1950s and became known for keeping a real crocodile in their garden. Dr. Morris filmed his family throughout his life, and even adult children and parents comment on the private shots, talking about the challenges and unforgettable moments they went through together. However, Marina Drozdova notes that this idyll is deceptive: “Innovators, philanthropists, eccentrics who created a luxurious garden in the desert and sheltered a pair of crocodiles as pets – the Morrises became unique figures of the region and the time, the 'quintessence' of local society. Forever remaining 'true Britts' with five o’clock tea. And, for example, the paradoxical prohibition on their children to learn Hebrew. Were they spies? Philanthropy enthusiasts? Diplomats? Doctors without borders? There truly are no borders in the sands here..."

Audiences will be able to watch these films in September at the festival. The schedule and tickets will be available on the festival's website.