Rites of Passage

Ritual and mythology explored in a programme of five films that includes work by Ben Russell, Hayoun Kwon and Gabriel Abrantes.

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.

Rites of Passage

Great Blood Sacrifice

  • Director Steve Reinke
  • Canada 2010
  • 4 mins

‘Whatever is going on on top, there’s a precise machine at work below, and this machine is digging little grooves, and these grooves slowly join together and become the conduits by which all meaning is drained from the world.’ (Steve Reinke)

Lack of Evidence

Manque de preuves

  • Director Hayoun Kwon
  • France 2011
  • 10 mins

To cleanse his village of demons, the chief of a Nigerian tribe plans to sacrifice his twin sons. One escapes and flees to Europe, where his application for asylum is dismissed through lack of material proof. Using his testimony as the basis, Kwon proposes an animated depiction of his account.


  • Director Gabriel Abrantes
  • Portugal 2012
  • 17 mins

Pagan folk myth is juxtaposed with ancient Greek comedy as three Haitian girls witness disparate forms of storytelling. An old man tells the tale of his wife’s transformation into a goat. In a local village, an elaborately costumed theatre group performs Aristophanes’ Birds in the original Attic language.

Ponce de León

  • Director Ben Russell, Jim Drain
  • USA 2012
  • 26 mins

‘Our Ponce de León is an immortal for whom time poses the greatest dilemma – it is a constant, a given, and his personal battle lies in trying to either arrest time entirely or to make the hands on his clock move ever faster. For Ponce de León, time is a problem of body, and only by escaping his container can he escape time itself.’ (Ben Russell)

River Rites

  • Director Ben Russell
  • USA-Suriname 2011
  • 12 mins

‘Trance dance and water implosion.’ A constantly moving camera passes through a complex choreography of bodies engaged in rituals of work and play along the Upper Suriname River.

Total running time c69 mins

Mark Webber