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WHERE IS THE BLACK BEAST?

is a film interpretation of Crow, by Ted Hughes, made from animating hundreds of found photographs that date from the early 20th century through the present day. All of the photographs are amateur snapshots found in flea markets and junk shops. They contain the point of view, focus and composition of many different people.

Ted Hughes wrote Crow in the 1960’s -- post war / pre flower power. It is an extremely dark view of the world and of humanity. Although the melodrama of the ‘cold war’ nuclear arms race might seem dated, we know that fear and hysteria have not been superceded by the dawning of the 21st century with its gadgetry and globalization. Hughes’ poetry (especially Crow) is as relevant to our situation and condition today as it was forty years ago when it was written.

Many of these photographs date from that era. Although on the surface they depict the holiday, the birthday, the celebration, digging beneath the expressions and gestures reveals the egos, the fears, the aggressions and the disappointments that Hughes so chillingly portrayed with his metaphoric use of a crow to stand for humanity.

by Simon Lee and Algis Antanas Kizys.