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Professor of Film and Photography Abraham Ravett’s films were recently featured in a retrospective at the Festival Film Dokumenter in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the oldest documentary-only film festival in Southeast Asia.
Ravett’s work was screened December 11 and 12, 2014, with the retrospective curated by former student Sandeep Ray 88F. Ray was a member of the jury for the Festival Film Dokumenter, and was asked to curate an out-of-competition section for which he chose to highlight Ravett.
“I felt that Abraham's compelling cinematic constructions that lie among the fluid fault-lines of documentary, memoir, and biography would be engaging for viewers in Yogyakarta, a community rich with artists from multidisciplinary fields,” said Ray.
In addition, Ray believed that Ravett’s focus in several of the films on the trauma his parents faced during World War II mirrored the experiences
of many Indonesians.
“Indonesians are still coming to terms with a genocide in their country in 1965-66 during a so called 'communist' purge,” said Ray. “I considered that a screening of innovative films dealing with aspects of personal and historical memory might resonate with the audience. And it did.”
The reasons behind the choice of his films, as well as the personal tie to Ray, made the retrospective particularly meaningful for Ravett. “I’m honored that a former student, friend, and colleague was willing to do this. It’s a very selective festival,” he said.
Though he could not attend, Ravett was nonetheless an active participant, taking part in a well-attended Skype session moderated by Ray and another former student, Dag Yngvesson 92F.
“The exchange was rich and moving. Viewers were interested in talking to Abraham about personal issues, his artistic choices, and asked his advice on how to integrate the abstract in the narrative process,” said Ray. “He received a warm ovation when the evening was up.”
For more on the retrospective screening, go here.