Into the Dark - A creative response
By Rabie Mustapha
04 October 2023
Rabie Mustapha lets his mind roam through the LFF programme, which will transport you into new lives and new places.
Please note: this festival screening will start promptly at the advertised time and will not include ads or trailers.
Where is the boundary? How did things merge again and how did you become immersed in this hypothesis again? Did you consider running away? How did you decide you will take part?
Dismembered bodies are calling you in. You can’t hear but you follow. Are you the mother of all those lost children? Is this a dream? A nightmare? It will stop but where will you be when it does?
الناس نيام فإذا ماتوا انتبهوا
They want you to give up your children and continue to the void but you are a fighter and you are fierce. You can no longer swallow your anger. You need to punch back and you do. No room for being weak now. You need to stand firm and fend off the testosterone fueled creatures and defy becoming a corpse…being an image of a corpse that is the subject of their gaze. You survive in the “fly in fly out” remote town where the order of things is about to be shook.
To perform is to belong to the game of deceit. The never-ending act is what your soul wants to escape but the more polished the act the more the actors start to believe. To document is to think you are touching the truth. The more you document the less truth there is. Blur the boundaries and let all dissolve. Be hybrid. Mislead. Hold our hands and throw us into the mess of images and lights.
They drag you into an unfamiliar realm. You think you can belong. They think you are a toy. You outperform and master the game of deception. You don’t want to stay but you don’t want to leave as well. It’s the lure of a desire fulfilling machine that eats your soul. You want to be yourself but to evolve. You want to be free but you are a toy. You run away and try to scrap the script.
"To reach you at last what a path I had to take?!"
Come back to the familiar in order to escape. It’s a vast world but you can only belong to one place. Can you fully belong anymore? What is that name buried in the “heap of broken images”. Is it the name of your daughter or the name of the long forgotten rebellious ancestor you named your daughter after? Where is the misery of your old continent? The privileged ones want to see that and feel sorry!
Into the apocalypse you go with a faint heart. You try not to lose your dearest child. You try to find a way out but there is not any. “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world and the center can’t hold”. You go through the anarchy. Nameless, hopeless and unprepared. You are gulped by the metamorphosis of your familiar world.
You travel far and beyond in order to culture the uncultured. That’s how you see it but the world is much bigger than your narrow mind. “Seek and you shall find '' but you don’t want to find. An adventure. A conquer. A white burden. A necessary defeat.
Now you are the child. You try to be yourself but the world is harsh and has its moulds. You find a hand that you can cling into but it’s been harsh for long and your guardian is prone to collapse. You are stung. You try to find your way in the gloomy paths and to find your corner. You are fragile and strong at a time and the fields are vast and can hide you.
You are alone and lonely and try to find connection but you used to be left behind for so long that you can no longer try. You fit in this script full of misfits. You connect and start learning how to care. You become the father of the fatherless and you learn how to laugh and how to be happy. The fatigued audience embarrasses your genuine self and feels less pain.
You head into your grandeur quest half superhero half poultry. You jeopardise your small world for the good of all and build your paradise of wheat and you bring happiness to the teeny-weeny who wants you to win yet also wants to catch you and drag you on the floor. When the black screen rolls the teeny-weeny wants you to come back but you are busy escaping your escalope fate!
In the dream within a dream within the darkened warm room you become a friendless canine self. In the painted dream you can become anything and you become the friend of a metallic self. The physical world is yours and so is the world of fantasies and futuristic quests. Your metallic companion finds home in you and you catch in him the souls of all those who left. “Do you remember the 21st night of September?”
Your different souls merge and re-emerge. A shapeless creature carries you and heads out to vanish in the dark.
Commissioned as part of the 67th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.