The Challenge, 2016

Basel 2017
Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, ZERO...
Italian filmmaker Yuri Ancarani crosses the Persian gulf to accompany a falconer to an important competition in his latest film The Challenge. Among SUV’s and private jets, a Lamborghini in the midst of Mad Max–like dune bashing contests, the film tells the story of an intense weekend in the desert, a falconer taking his birds to compete in a tournament in Qatar. Falconry has a history that stretches back over 40 centuries. In the West, it was a prevailing passion of the medieval aristocracy, but its prestige continues undiminished in contemporary Arab culture. Three years of observing this form of hunting in the field have made it possible for Ancarani to capture the spirit of a tradition that today allows its practitioners to keep a close relationship with the desert, despite their predominantly urban lifestyle. In the glaring light of an empty landscape, following flight lines and lures, the film recounts a strange capsule of experience informed by technological and anthropological microcosms alike, drifting on the tantalizing currents of images.