ZDROJ / SOURCE
Director: Martin Marecek
The Source (Zdroj), a non-distribution
documentary by Martin Marecek.
Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan
is part of a monstrous socialistic complex of pipelines Baku, slightly
modified according to the new political situation. Prosperity is based
on poverty and miserable situation of local citizens in this country,
which has the highest rate of corruption and which is governed under a
hybrid form of dictatorship.
Documentary filmmaker Martin Marecek´s and activist Martin Skalský´s film opens with an animated sequence that illustrates in shorthand the road from the mining fields of Baku to the full fuel tank, to the real price of oil. Contemporary Azerbaijan is implicitly undemocratic, with a strong presidential systém and clan mentality, exploited by Western corporations.
Looking at the broader context, the film explores the project of oil pipelines supported by the World Bank. The documentary is the first filmic output of the extensive social project Auto*Mat, which confronts various forms of human mobility.
While the power of the heir to the presidential throne Ilham Alyiev is satirized by the straightforward image of the matrushka dolls, each concealing another one (concealing, too, wilfull arrests and torture of local opposition), one of the key motifs of the film is aside from the portrayal of the irony of the symbols of power floating over the disconsolate social landscape, or tokens of civic resistance to unmask the use of language, where the idioms of the Communist apparatchiks are used to convey the message of globalization.
The authoritarian use of language defending the benefits of global corporations anticipates the control of a certain territory by ownership without context, where there is no responsibility towards the borders of local culture, which is often also the border of local language. In an unknown and unspecified language of the new power, there thus merge the residue of communist totalitarianism and the imperial ambitions of expanding capital, non-concrete and non-committant, which aptly reminds us of the waning power of individual countries to decide their fate.
The oil stain thus mirrors a new,
updated version of capitalism, a neo-liberal challenge that is the driving
power of rapid social, political and economic changes. But what to do
with those who don´t want things that way? Entertain them to death,
or throw them in jail.