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    Lucid dreaming: animated documentary at Thessaloniki

    THESSALONIKI: Three films from the 2020 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival prove the multi-dimensional power of animation in non-fiction storytelling.

    If fumbling for a definition of documentary, the «observation of reality» might initially spring to one’s mind. But the idea of simply pointing a camera at the world around us and recording it, as if seen by our own eyes, barely scratches the surface of attempts to represent what is true — and how little of it is rawly visible before us. In the ‘20s, animation was turned to as a way to illustrate abstract concepts in educational films such as the Fleischer brothers’ The Einstein Theory of Relativity. These days, non-fiction exists in an ever-more complicated dance with the acknowledgment of subjectivity and unreliable perception. Animation has proved an effective tool in breathing life into, not only, testimonies of the past, but also the inextricability of imagination, emotion, and the hallucinatory plane of dreams. This year, a tribute programme at 2020 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival explores ways in which animation has enriched the documentary form, creating . . .

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    Carmen Gray
    Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
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    CHINA: The Exiles (dir: Ben Klein, …)Looking back in anger at the lost chances to help China attain democracy, 30 years after Tiananmen Square.
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