Nutsigassat / Translations

"Go outside. The lovely mountains two, Sermitsiaq and Kingittorsuaq, look at them.” While the housing blocks carry a past of national diaspora, layers of snow cover a future development in the city of Nuuk, Greenland. The landscape acts as a scenery for collective nostalgia and industrial production, as the film studies glitches in translation of language and culture in a post-colonial modernity.

Original title Nutsigassat
English title Translations
Script/Camera/Edit Tinne Zenner
Music Wieland Rambke
Voiceover Maria Motzfeldt
Colorgrade Edoardo Rebecchi / Beofilm
Year 2018
Running time 20min 20sec
Screening format DCP/HD
Countries of production Greenland / Canada / Denmark

"'Translations' (in Greenlandic: 'Nutsigassat') reflects on the power of language as a colonizer of foreign landscapes. The Danish names imposed on Greenland's spaces and landscapes have historically been a part of Denmark's engagement in the vast country in the North. A process, through which the mountains of Sermitsiaq and Kingittorsuaq that surround Nuuk were detached from both their semantic and geographical meaning. But also the physical signs of the fatal interventions of the past are legible in the concrete high-rises that replaced the small communities of the bygds along the coasts which were closed down by the Danish government in the 1960s and 70s. Even the manual mass production of tupilaks (sacred amulettos made of bones and horns) describe a cultural mutation of the mythical figure into a tourist object. Through a complex juxtaposition of text, voice and her beautiful 16mm film imagery, Zenner has created a critical work in which the majestic and vast vistas of Greenland defy the history imposed on them." - CPH:DOX 2018

“Også Tinne Zenners blændende, intelligent komponerede kortfilm Translations/ Nutsigassat, der blev vist på årets CPH:DOX, har gjort varigt indtryk. Med landskabet og sproget som prisme undersøger filmen sprogets rolle som kolonisator i relationen mellem Danmark og Grønland. Jeg kom af en eller anden grund til at tænke på den japanske filmskaber Masao Adachis landskabsteori fukeiron – en idé om at sociale og politiske strukturer kan aflæses gennem filmisk observation af et landskab eller territorium.” - Pernille Lystlund Matzen “Hvad var årets bedste filmoplevelse?”, Skuelyst 2018

CPH:DOX New:Vision Jury Statement
“An idea as a symbol, a name as a shape, an image as a surface, a landscape as a waveform: for its formal complexity, material sensibilities and its attention to language as a site of resistance, the special mention of the New:Vision Jury goes to Translations.”

Screenings & Exhibitions
Assinga 4x4, Nuuk Nordisk & Nuuk Artmuseum, Nuuk, Greenland
Tak i lige måde - Contemporary Art from Denmark, Reykjavik Artmuseum, Iceland
CPH:DOX 2018 (Cinema World Premiere), New:Vision Award Special Mention
ICDOCS - Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival - April, 2018
The Maryland Film Festival - May, 2018
FRACTO Experimental Film Encounter - May, 2018
Festspillene i Nordnorge/Arctic Arts Festival, Harstad, Norway
26th Curtas Vila do Conde IFF – July, 2018
Somewhere In Between, BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium
Reykjavík International Film Festival, Sep 27 - Oct 7, 2018
Curtocircuíto International Film Festival, Spain - Sep 29 - Oct 9, 2018
Paris Festival for Different and Experimental Cinema - Oct 10-12, 2018
Walden presents: The Rendered Earth - Films by Tinne Zenner, Fylkingen, Stockholm, Sweden - Oct 28, 2018
Nomadica - Bologna, Italy - Nov 1-4, 2018
Cine Esquema Novo, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil - Nov 22-28, 2018
Vorspiel / transmediale & CTM, Acud Macht Neu Berlin, Germany - January 24, 2019
The Nordic Competition at The 31st Minimalen Short Film Festival, Norway - Jan 22-27, 2019
Rencontres Internationales Paris, France - March 6, 2019
42nd Portland International Film Festival, Portland, Oregon - March 21, 2019
Filmfest Dresden, Dresden, Germany - April 9-14, 2019
EMAF European Media Art Festival No. 32, Osnabrück, Germany - April 24-28, 2019
Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany - May 1-6, 2019
Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick, Scotland - May 2-6, 2019
Le dôme Festival, Montbazon, France
FESTEF, Kuchevo, Serbia
Festival ECRÃ, Museum of Modern Arts Cinematheque, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Supported by Danish Arts Foundation, LIFT - Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toront, NAPA - Nordens Institut i Grønland & Nordic Culture Point