The Host

(2016) 60 minutes, HD

A filmmaker turns forensic detective as she pieces together hundreds of photographs in search of what she believes to be a buried history, only to find herself inside the story she is researching. The Host investigates the activities of British Petroleum (BP) in Iran; a tale of power, imperial hubris and catastrophe. While the tectonic plates of geopolitical conspiracy shift in the background, the film asks us to look, and look again, at images produced by the oil company and personal photos taken by its British staff in Iran– including the filmmaker’s parents– not for what they show, but for what they betray. The Host is about the stories we tell about ourselves and others, the facts and fictions we live by – and their consequences.

“[The Host] trace[s] a film journey from the personal to the political context, delving into a colonial story whose consequences are still present today. For its formal rigour and use of archival material, represents an important boost to contemporary film”.
International Jury for the 2017 Punto de Vista Award for Best Film


‘Like the Iranian oil workers who haunt Pennell, this is a film that refuses to get back into its box’
Sukhdev Sandhu, in Sight & Sound.

‘This sober, respectful and devastating work is one of the year’s highlights, a quiet and insistent probe into the act of making and marking territory, of the way identity is constructed in serial acts of necessary blindness’
Mike Hoolboom for Pleasure Dome, Toronto

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