Peter Watkins’’s The Journey

March 20–21, 2004

MoMA

One of the most significant filmmakers of his generation, Peter Watkins has made compassionate, uncompromising films and videos that challenge not only conventional styles and techniques but also notions of history and the media. The ever-timely The Journey: A Film for Peace, made between 1984 and 1987, is a pioneering attempt at a fully international cinema. Watkins worked with support groups around the world to raise money and assemble crews while shooting the film in the United States, Canada, Norway, Scotland, France, West Germany, Mozambique, Japan, Australia, Tahiti, and Mexico. He spent eighteen months editing the more than 100 hours of footage he compiled, weaving together extended family interviews, documentation of the global arms race, recollections of survivors of the bombings in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Hamburg, community psychodramas of possible disaster scenarios, and works by other artists. The film is monumental both in its critique and analysis and in its effort to inspire and occasion new ways of using information and the media.

Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film and Media.

Grateful thanks to Peter Watkins, Canyon Cinema, San Francisco; and Scott MacDonald.

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