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The Beautiful Language

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Directed by | Mounir Fatmi

Genre fiction  |  Length: 17mins  |  Year of production: 2010

“My tongue is a hemorrhage, I bleed each time I speak,” are the violent words that set the tone for this startling work from Moroccan French visual artist Mounir Fatmi. The Beautiful Language is rich in words and images, using an unsettling cut–up technique suggestive of William Burroughs in order to digitally manipulate fragments from François Truffaut's 1970 film, L'Enfant Sauvage. That work told of an “uncivilized” child who was studied as a specimen of difference and then forcefully “cultured” by an 18th century aristocratic doctor. Fatmi’s treatment revisits the imperial brutalities and scientific racisms critiqued in Truffaut’s original, questioning their place in contemporary societies and particularly the traumas inflicted in the dubious name of “civilization”.