Claire Bloom once told me ‘thank god film is a kind of memory of who you were. As long as it lasts’
In ‘The Search for Emak Bakia’, the memory one finds, is of a film we probably have never heard of.
In 1926, the avant-garde filmmaker Man Ray, created a surreal silent film. Its title was Emak Bakia. (Of note it is available to view on YouTube)
The origin of the title is one of dispute. Fast-forward 86 years and Oskar Algeria’s documentary attempts to find the answer.
I had never even heard of the name May Ray, let alone his 1926 film. Algeria introduces us to that film through the parallel narrative of his own documented journey. And along the way, he quite remarkably blends images from the old silent film, with his own search for Emak Bakia.
It is truly a nostalgic atmosphere, at times haunting, always intriguing. It’s of little concern to the viewer when Algeria’s journey goes off tangent, because, somehow, and always, it blends back to Man Ray’s 1926 film.
One could consider that this documentary title is not so much Oskar’s search for Emak Bakia, but our own search to find the film that started his journey.
Director Oskar Alegría
Runtime 87 mins
Language. Basque, French, Italian, Spanish