Screening of "Retreat" (2020) by Joeri Verbesselt


November 4, 2022, 11 pm, room 1

3 - 6 november 2022
BREEDBEELD kortfilmfestival

De Studio
Maarschalk Gerardstraat 4,
2000 Antwerp

Something is in the air.

Dusk. Wind. Rising temperatures.

Protest chanting, batons ready, waiting for tear gas.

retreat is inspired by my experiences as a climate activist, and especially my participation in Ende Gelände 2016 – a largescale climate action of civil disobedience in and against highly polluting German lignite mines. The film is the result of a personal digestion of protest images and texts throughout human history. On the brink of ecological meltdown, retreat aims to poetically evoke the intense longing for societal change in a performative way.

-- Joeri Verbesselt

In a post-apocalyptic collage of existing and staged images, the futuristic and audiovisually immersive ‘retreat’ conjures up a violent world of rising temperatures and social unrest. A world shrouded in smog and tear gas, where an underground army suppress their rebellion through a performance, which takes place on the ground that they have gathered to defend. Joeri Verbesselt has created a piece of performative 'cli-fi' for both gallery and cinema, which turns contemporary imaging technologies that were originally developed by the military against themselves in an alarming call for social and environmental change. The bits of recognizable sounds that seep into this otherwise dialogue-free and abstract work bear witness to the fact that its basis in real protests - in many different languages - is also its greatest power.


Curation Fantômas

Lieven Gevaert Centre
KU Leuven, Faculty of Arts
Blijde Inkomststraat 21 pb 3313
B-3000 Leuven

Lieven Gevaert Centre
UC Louvain, Archéologie et d'histoire d'art
FIAL - Place Blaise Pascal 1 bte L3.03.13
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve