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Assembly as film. Assembly as liberation. Assembly as power. Assembly as method. And as a tool. 


An Exercise in Assembling is a film presenting itself as an exercise in film programming, in film assemblage. Working with films made during the revolutionary period of various liberation struggles, emancipatory movements, civil rights movements, workers and immigrant movements, the film programme assembles scenes from an array of militant and politically made cinema. The scenes are those with bodies that gather, come together, or assemble to generate a presence, movement in a space—both actual and cinematic—against some form of colonial, capitalist, class, or gender violence. Or with bodies that have come to celebrate the falling of oppressive regimes, to build, to share. 


Editing these scenes together, we can find patterns in how cinema represented assemblies, or how cinema employed shots of gatherings, both mass and more intimate, to construct the space of a struggle. Bodies on streets, bodies on mountains, in stadiums, in schools, factories. Bodies in the landscape. 


An Exercise in Assembling works with films from across different cinematic and revolutionary geographies including Palestine, Cuba, Algiers, Western Sahara, Guinea Bissau, Vietnam, France among others.


Subversive Film is a research and filmmakers collectieve.


The film was screened or exhibited at:


  • Contour 10, Mechelen (BE) 06/09 - 05/11, 2023



  • Produced by Escautville, Subversive Film

  • Co-produced by Contour, KASK, The Kitchen

  • With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)


  • Written & Directed: Reem Shilleh, Mohanad Yaqubi

  • Editing: Reem Shilleh, Mohanad Yaqubi

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