‘A Glaring Mistake’: Stella Polare - an Alternative Armistice Evening


7.30 doors (7:45pm start)

£5 advance (CLICK HERE) £6.50 on the door

A benefit event for the Horse Hospital Fundraising Campaign

A special event, seeking to think differently about the legacy of World War One, with a singular essay film introduced by the film-makers, and two fine poets – Andy Birtwistle and Stephen Watts - reading live. The evening will be opened by internationally acclaimed violinist Alexander Balanescu playing from ‘The Radetzky March’. The evening will be hosted by Gareth Evans.

We are delighted that David Gee will be able to join us to present his new book 'Spectacle, Reality, Resistance: Confronting a Culture of Militarism’ (Forces Watch, £7; available for sale this evening). David is a writer and campaigner on the ethics of military recruitment, mental health of veterans, and the role of citizens in building peace and resisting war. He is a co-founder of Forces Watch and former director of Alternatives to Violence Project (www.forceswatch.net).

Stella Polare (2006) 76 mins; Dir: Anthea Kennedy & Ian Wiblin

An essay film occupying the ground between narrative, documentary and experimental film-making, Stella Polare is a work of fragmented histories: of the catastrophes of empire, war, terror and resistance of our times. Its unseen narrator ‘encounters’ the inhabitants of an undisclosed port city in old Europe as they stroll along a jetty in the melancholy fading light of evening. These meetings are with terrorists, philosophers, writers, photographers, shopkeepers whose subjective accounts and conjecture create a rupture within twentieth century history and beyond. Such sequences provide a central structure around which threads of image, sound and voiceover are interwoven to create an ambiguous and speculative narrative. Elsewhere, the camera explores a city where the people are largely absent. The dusty faded traces of a glorious imperial past – the interiors of opulently furnished nineteenth century apartments and museum vitrines of stuffed birds – encounter the present tense materiality of the video image. Stella Polare is a work of contemporary relevance which, through its particular engagement with history, reflects on time, memory and violent political action. It was shot in the Italian border city of Trieste.