Safari Screen 9 articles

Safari

2016

Safari Poster
  • As Seidl’s demonstration of racism and exploitation becomes more strident, this enforced silence and provocative shots of workers gnawing raw meat off the bone make his polemics problematic.

  • It's *fine*, as in it’s just fine but also totally unnecessary wheel-spinning. Seidl’s been trying to pull together financing for at least three years now for a historical film, Herr Grassl, which would be his priciest work yet, and there’s been a definite feeling — in In The Basement and now with this new film — that Seidl’s just killing time and keeping his hand in the game while waiting to do what he really wants.

  • Always the provocateur, Seidl revels in bearing witness to atrocity while also uncovering the fanatical absurdity of his subjects. Despite being consistently shocking, none of Safari feels all that daring. Still, one woman spent much of my screening crying hysterically, which means somewhere Seidl is undoubtedly grinning with glee.

  • This is qualitatively different from most of the Seidl docs I've seen (In the Basement, Jesus, You Know, Animal Love), in that here the director combines his usual interview-subjects-pinned-to-the-wall-like-mounted-butterflies approach with sequences that could reasonably be compared to Direct Cinema.

  • An unremittingly horrible but altogether extraordinary portrait of European hunting tourists in Africa that affords them a platform to defend their sport — yet won’t make any converts from the justly appalled. With its already queasy subject matter and graphic extended sequences of animal killing and carving, this hard-to-shake doc is commercially thorny even by his prickly-pear standards.

  • The taboo subject of big game hunting lends the expectation of an explicitly verbalised homily as the viewer is confronted with painfully upsetting images of dead animals being skinned and butchered. Yet these images do the only real talking in Seidl’s masterful art documentary; the walls of stuffed heads of felled majestic game, the carcasses of dying beasts which crumple in on themselves.

  • Once more Seidl probes the dark side of human nature with deadpan acuity... Despite an abundance of absurd hunter’s jargon and real-satirical situations characteristic of Seidl’s dark humour—hours of waiting for prey in deserted landscapes, beer in hand, intermittently falling asleep—Safari emerges as one of his darkest works overall

  • Seidl gives the group the slack to hang themselves—the film, though less exact and incensed, is certainly as critical as his compatriot Peter Kubelka’s totemic avant-grade safari picture, Unsere Afrikareise—though his deep irony and criticism never fails to gives his subjects room not only to present themselves but also to exist as humans.

  • Like most of Seidl’s work, there is no voiceover and a matter of fact presentation of this rather shocking footage. Correctly, Seidl understands that his commentary is rather unnecessary, that the power of the work comes from the very ordinariness of the couples and families participating, the racial divide in the work involved in this industry, and his unflinching capturing of events we know occur but usually repress. No documentary filmmaker consistently makes films as riveting as Seidl.

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