2011 | 6:45 | Color | 16:9 | HD Video | Sound
“Autogeography: A Kind of Beginning” is a short film that weaves together personal, political, spiritual, and cultural references. This short film reimagines the Barong, an animal-like spirit in Balinese performance who protects individuals and villages. In “Autogeography: A Kind of Beginning,” three Barongs are lost in the gentrified Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bed-stuy and Greenpoint, where immigrant and Black American histories are rapidly disappearing. As the Barongs wander, we hear conversations. One voice recounts a dream that the film visualizes. Two other voices guess at the story itself and, with concern, the destination and well being of the wandering Barongs. Yet another voice, deep and all-knowing, connects the viewer to the morals of this loosely mythical film.
The film’s dreamy aesthetic aims to builds a porous, non-static narrative and weave together present and pre-colonial images and politics. With elements of myth, dream, and wonder, the film takes on questions of home, homecoming, exile, and displacement. Barong, the protector of villages, is many. Homeless, several wander present-day Brooklyn. The Barongs are both out of place and nothing new to a city that is home to communities and refugees from across the globe.