David Krippendorff

KALI, 2017

HD, color, stereo, 8 min. 57 sec., with Hiam Abbass

In KALI, the lyrics of Nina Simone’s rendition of Pirate Jenny, the song from the Brecht/Weill The Threepenny Opera, are rewritten and transformed into a monologue performed in Arabic by actress Hiam Abbass. The film has been shot with two cameras: a main one and a surveillance camera placed farther away from the scene. The piece is conceived as a two-channel installation, with the footage from the main camera as a large projection and the surveillance film synchronized on a monitor within the same venue.
The film tackles issues of oppression, exploitation, and injustice; its title refers to the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, time, and change. Although presented as dark and violent, the goddess Kali also stands for the annihilation of evil forces, which perfectly reflects the spirit of the text: an angry plea for vengeance over injustice and oppression.