(2020) 15 minutes, HD
The Z Unit’s operation in a world far from our own was an experiment of sorts, a test. And this place, inhabited by beings different from ourselves, served as a laboratory. A successful outcome would secure the Z Unit’s future, enabling its enterprise to expand and its methods to be applied to other worlds. An investigation into imperial image-making, and destruction.
Strange Object takes aerial photographs of an undisclosed colonised territory as the starting point for a meditation on images, erasure and the writing of history. This is the first part of an ongoing project.
Grand Prix award winner, FLIGHT/ Mostra Internazionale del Cinema di Genova 2021
Grand Prix, FLIGHT/ Mostra Internazionale del Cinema di Genova 2021
“An excellent cinematic work, with a minimalist but strong and rigorous form, which starts from archival material to reach a deep understanding of our civilization. The film does not only look, but it sees”.
International jury: Ester De Miro (president – Italy), Irena Bilic (Serbia), Anna Doyle (France), Anatoliy Syrykh (Ukraine), October 2021
‘In her tactical deconstruction of colonial images, Miranda Pennell skilfully reveals the manipulative power of visual as well as verbal presentation. […] The minimalist composition defines distance as a decisive factor in classification in several senses . Not only spatial and historical distance, but also one’s own – implicitly political – position are decisive aspects that define the ‘strange object’ of the title.’
Cinemagicon, June 2021
‘In this short, wounded history of a coloniser and their Other, the narrator gives us a disordered alphabet of war. Around her an audible story unfolds of people quietly pacing hallways, ruffling through pages, in search of truth, right where it might be in its most inaccessible form’.
Ultradogme, June 2021
‘The soundtrack draws us deep into the wells in the desert and back to the historians’ typewriters. The red snakeskin on the album covers was once a desert-dweller, too.’
Berlinale Through The Eyes of… Saskia Walker, 2021
‘Remind[s] us how history is written by the victors and narratives are shaped by the powerful’
Cineuropa, February 2021
‘A great little 15-minute adventure that sounds like one thing but turns out to be something completely different, something better’.
Dreamcage, October 2020