In a brief moment of optimism

Video, 18 min, HD, Berlin 2013

Concept, Director, Edit: Marie Rømer Westh
Camera: Jide Tom Akinleminu
Cast: Cesar Torales

“In a brief moment of optimism” is an improv performance with a man, a skateboard and an empty room. A room that turns out to be the modern church complex St.Agnes, built in Berlin in the mid 1960s – a period in which, like the work’s title suggests, was marked by optimism, but which also turned out to be short-lived. A young man idles around the building’s labyrinthine interior. Even if Marie Rømer Westh’s video work has no dialogue, it is anything but silent. Sounds help us orient ourselves, as the young man charts the spaces on his way up the floors towards the tower in an open and elliptic work, which allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the contextual significance” – CPH:DOX 2013

The film is developed from an idea of placing a specific person in a specific environment and through him reflect on, a space, a personal reality as well as on a specific time in history, namely the democratic Utopia of the 1960s and the 1970s. In many ways ‘a short-lived, fragile period of naïve optimism…’ All the scenes are improvised and developed on site through a close collaboration between protagonist, camera and director. Shot on location in the former church complex of St. Agnes (build 1964-67) in Berlin. -MRW

View the film here.