Moving Minimalism: Solitary Confinement
What Iraqi oil and Swiss filmmaking have to do with the nature of creativity.
By Maria Popova
From May 1980 to May 1990, nuclear scientist Hussain Al-Shahristani — Iraq’s current oil minister — was thrown in solitary confinement and subjected to torture. Last month, in a revelational and deeply personal interview, Al-Shahristani spoke to The BBC about the experience.
Inspired by the moving story, Swiss filmmaker and animator Mato Atom created a brilliant new campaign for BBC World Service, capturing in abstract form and minimal narration the devastating reality of solitary confinement.
Produced in collaboration with Fallon London, the animation stirs the deepest corners of intuitive understanding and empathy with its subtle yet powerful imagery. What makes the piece so rich, we think, is that Atom turned to disciplines beyond the arts for inspiration — from philosophy to science — embodying the very cross-pollination of ideas that we preach so zealously around here.
A testament to the power of quietly making a powerful point through minimalism and meticulously thought out symbolic narrative.
Published December 10, 2009