Not Reconciled (2009, 40 min) tells the history of Belchite in Spain, ruined in a 3-week battle during the Spanish Civil War and left deliberately in ruins by Franco to symbolise his victory. There was no Truth Commission at the end of the Francoist era, no purge of the army or police and no assessment of the crimes of the regime. The film reflects on the continuing presence of the Civil War and the existence of mass graves, through the creation of the ghosts of Republican and Nationalist fighters, filming of the inhabitants of the rebuilt town and extensive shots of the ruined town.
Breathing Still (2018, 8 min) is part activist, part essay film, a compelling portrait of Berlin as the right wing nationalist party the AfD wins members in Parliament for the first time. Weaving together voice-over, stills, archive and found footage, a flaneuse following the footsteps of the Marxist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, who was assassinated by the Freikorps fascists nearly a century ago, explores Berlin’s streets and memorials to Luxemburg and the Jews who once lived there.
Dr Jill Daniels is an experimental documentary filmmaker based in London. Her films explore themes of exile and memory, identity and place and, more recently, autobiography. She has been making films for over twenty-five years. Her films have been shown through the world and she has won numerous international awards. She teaches filmmaking at the University of East London. Her book Memory, Place and Autobiography: Experiments in Documentary Filmmaking was published in 2019 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. www.jilldanielsfilms.com
Hyphen Journal is an open-access, interdisciplinary platform for critical thinking on the diverse practices of research, published at the University of Westminster.
Subject, memory and place: Jill Daniels in conversation with Matthias Kispert can be found in Hyphen Journal, Issue 2.