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The Mist in the Palm Trees

by Critical Commons Manager

The second segment "Strangeness" of The Mist in the Palm Trees excavates the life of a character named Santiago Bergson. Composed entirely of archival images, this feature-length experimental documentary mirrors the database narrative structure of both Welles' Citizen Kane and Marker's La Jetee, presenting one man's story told in several variations. Themes addressed in the film include history and memory, documentary and fiction, still and moving images, and open vs. closed narrative structures.

The filmmakers' notes for this Spanish database documentary describes the film as:

A physicist, a photographer, an adventurer…The biographical flashes of Santiago Bergson (1905- ? ) record a century at war, focusing on the events that marked his life:
a miners revolt in Asturias,
teenage love,
the photo of a feminine nude,
a silent film that disappeared in Cuba,
the political manipulation of a photograph,
The War of the Worlds by Orson Welles,
a daughter,
the first atomic bombings,
the French Resistance,
insanity and the end of WWII.
A film about the purposes and values of images that, based in quantum physics, deals with the manipulation of memory and history, poring the question: What good is an image for, if it cannot save a man’s life?
One man, three graves. An absence.

Strangeness segment from The Mist in the Palm Trees (English subtitles)

A clip from the Spanish database documentary La Niebla en las Palmeras (The Mist in the Palm Trees)

from The Mist in the Palm Trees (2006)
Creator: Carlos Molinero and Lola Salvador
Posted by Critical Commons Manager