The film brings to life a poem I wrote on a long canal journey. Moving at walking pace, you are made to look at everything long and hard - apparent rural idyll and Anthropocene devastation alike. The poem and the film are about the need to bear witness to everything in these times of unprecedented loss, without looking away.

  • Janet Lees
  • Janet Lees
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Videopoetry, artfilm, experimental
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 4, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Zebra Poetry Film Festival
    December 5, 2019
    European premiere
    Official selection, UK poetry film scene focus
  • Zebra Poetry Film Festival
    November 22, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Janet Lees

Janet Lees is an artist, poet and poetry filmmaker. Her film-based works have been selected for many festivals and screenings, including the Zebra Poetry Film Festival, the International Videopoetry Festival and the Aesthetica Art Prize.

As an artist she has exhibited around the world. In 2018 she was the artist representing the Isle of Man at the Festival Interceltique in France, with an exhibition comprising art photography, film and poetry.

Janet's poetry is widely published and anthologised. Last year she had two books published: 'House of water', a collection of her poems and art photographs, and 'A bag of sky', the winning collection in the Frosted Fire Firsts prize hosted by the UK's Cheltenham Poetry Festival.

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Director Statement

As an artist, experimental filmmaker and poet, I am chronicling what it feels like to be human at a time when humanity is having a devastating effect on earth's vital ecological systems. In this film poem I attempt to see through a range of different sets of eyes, to bring different perspectives to the act of witnessing, without looking away. All of my work is concerned with creating a mythology for our world. I use the camera as a storytelling machine rather than a documenting device. I believe that film and photography, alongside poetry, are among the most important and authentic means of creative expression in these unprecedented times.