Rony Tanios

01.02  –  15.02

In 2023, KIOSK streams in partnership with Le Fresnoy a series of films on its website. Tashattot Collective invited Yara Al Chehayed to select three films from the catalog of Le Fresnoy in response to the exhibition Tashattot. Fracture by Rony Tanios is the first film selected by Yara Al Chehayed.

Three questions to Rony Tanios

Yara Al Chehayed: In your movie we see an absence of walls separating private from public. What do you think has contributed to the fall of walls between the outside world and our private spaces?

Rony Tanios: Fracture is a film that explores the loneliness of human beings in a society governed by appearances. Social networks have strongly contributed to this alienation of the individual within society. Today we live on an overpopulated planet in cramped spaces. We have never been so close physically yet so apart mentally. We brush past each other daily without leaving our phones to look at each other. This social “fracture” detaches individuals and confines them to bubbles with invisible walls. We look at the “Other” without seeing them. We prefer to watch their avatar on our screen. In the film, Victor lives in this social bubble with invisible walls. He is waiting for someone who will never come. He hallucinates a knock on his door.

YAC: We see Victor confined to his reality and looking at himself through a broken mirror that reflects a distorted image. Do you think our current images of ourselves are distorted? If so, what has caused this distortion?

RT: Victor no longer wants the image that his mirror reflects of him. He replaces it with a new mirror that modifies his perceptions by making him believe that someone is knocking at his door. The virtual image we create of ourselves is meant to better “connect” us with others, get us more “likes” and attract more “followers.” The valuation our virtual image brings us pushes us to identify with it more than with our reflection in the mirror. This gives us little desire to meet the Other, for fear that the Other will discover in us a real version that is much blander than the virtual one. We thus prefer to stay at home, sequestered with our avatar in the same cell.

YAC: At the end of the movie, a playful child brings Victor back to the reality that he is connected to the world. Do you think through the children in us, we will reconnect with each other?

RT: It is indeed the child’s balloon that crosses Victor’s invisible wall and knocks down the decor. It is the child who interrupts Victor’s delirium and brings him back to reality. It is the child who reveals Victor’s sad loneliness and makes him understand that there is no point in waiting for someone who will never come. Despite their very rich imagination, today’s children are more connected to reality than anyone else—until the day they receive their first cellphone.

About Rony Tanios

Born in Beirut, Rony Tanios is a medical doctor and a psychiatrist, graduated from Paris VII in 2014. After a master's degree in filmmaking at the ENSAV - National Higher School of Audiovisual, he joined Le Fresnoy - Studio National des Arts Contemporains in 2018. His films explore the human unconscious and mix realism and fantasy. In 2009, his first short film, Le Cas Perrot, was selected for "Premiers Plans d'Angers Festival" and for several national and international festivals. In 2021, he directed Fracture, his first experimental film, selected for "Tirana International Film Festival" and for several other national and international festivals.

About Yara Al Chehayed

Yara Al Chehayed, is a PhD scholar from the Levant, at UCLouvain: Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Her project tackles Lebanese cinema of war and the absent perpetuator, and through this absence the emergence of the specter of war. She is also a researcher in social sciences with special interest in identities, belonging and migration and their manifestation in cultural production, mainly cinema.

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