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"Tales of Silver City" is anthology film written/directed by Kristina Borhes and Nazar Tymoshchuk. It consists of five short stories aimed to explore the city Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) in quite imaginative manner. Filmed during Nuart Aberdeen Festival in April 2019.
"Tales of Silver City" is a piece of speculative fiction. This fiction is created from a fact and rather reflects on city’s life than documents it. Each story refers to real-life personalities, historical events and legends related to the city, although reality is re-imagined in this film. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s "Invisible Cities" the film portrays Aberdeen as 5 fictional cities represented by separate short stories, namely: Runaway city (“U ARE HERE” short), City as a Garden (“GREEN”), City of Giants (“CITY OF GIANTS”), City of Granite Ladies (“CAROLINE”) and the Magic city (“THE GREAT WIZARD OF THE NORTH”).
Every short story incorporates the art on the streets of Aberdeen as main character. Most of the street works are interconnected with the history of city, its architecture and citizens, therefore those pieces simultaneously inspire and visualize the storytelling.

“U ARE HERE” is dedicated to outcasts as inherent part of the city. It was entirely filmed at one location – Denburn Health Centre, remarkable example of brutalist architecture in Aberdeen. Partly abandoned building in the center of the city symbolizes the groups rejected by society. Graffiti, random writings on the walls and the wild plants are making the place look like a savage garden in the very heart of the city. Ignored by the regular citizens this place became nearly invisible but truly alive. It is stating with the letters on its wall that “there’s certain light in darkness”.
A poem “You Are Here” written by David Henry (based in Aberdeen) was used as an intro to this story and opening for the whole film.
Narrated by Matthew Hall
Music by Daniel Andersson (aka Knivtid)

“GREEN” is the story which re-imagines one of the darkest events in the history of Aberdeen. In the XVIII century around 700 children were kidnapped from the streets of the city and sold as slaves to North America. They were kept in the building in central part of the city, the area called Green. In this short story the Green is imagined as a city which transformed into beautiful garden. The short was filmed in The David Welch Winter Gardens at Duthie Park, Aberdeen. In a way, this particular story is a task for imagination. Seeing only some parts of indoor gardens the viewer has a chance to imagine some non-existent garden under the clear blue sky; to picture exotic birds; to imagine the wild nature around it.. Every viewer will imagine the garden in own way, which makes this visual experience very personal. Some other parts of Aberdeen’s history are incorporated into storyline: the Chief who “wears feathers as a crown and reads the books to the children” in the Garden was inspired by Peter Williamson (known as "Indian Peter"), Scottish memoirist who was among the children sold into slavery to North America, the one who managed to come back to Scotland and become famous storyteller; two leopards are the symbol of Aberdeen, they are the part of the coat of arms and often depicted in the city; “wild cats who came to garden to watch the children” are actually the statues known as "Kelly's cats", black cast metal cats by William Kelly which sit along the balustrade on Union Bridge, some of those cats were transported from the bridge in city center to The David Welch Winter Gardens, therefore they are literally in the garden now.
This short shows the artwork by Jan Vormann (the part of his “Dispatchwork” series) which was realized on Green as reminder about the tragic events and an effort to deal with a loss through repairing the weathered walls with construction toys.
Music by Marty Hicks
Voice-over: Katie Zaffrann

“CITY OF GIANTS” is dedicated to resistance and civil disobedience. It is heavily inspired by brutalist and modernist architecture of Aberdeen which is contrasting with predominantly neoclassical look of the city. Unrecognizable, uncanny and almost dystopian vibe in this case achieved by focusing on industrial and modernist side of the city separately from other parts of it. The narrative of this short was developed around chosen set of the artworks on the streets of Aberdeen. Starting from “Cement Eclipses” series by Isaac Cordal and his “analogy of precise moment when buildings cover the sunlight” (represented by miniature cement businessmen on facades); or so-familiar electric enclosures transformed into miniature tower blocks by Evol in attempt to mirror the architecture of a city and the way it is perceived by a modern society; the giant figures fighting the gravity and jumping into the sky (by Anders Gjennestad aka Strøk); the faceless crowd waiting for the queen (by Axel Void); or black-and-white poem by Robert Montgomery about the Modernism and the blue sky.. All of these street art pieces shape the single story when collected altogether just like mysterious figures on the mirrors around the city (by Jon Reid aka MoC) which start to move when becoming one.
Music by Matthew Clyma Gooderson (aka Clyma)
Voice-over: Giles Coghlan

“CAROLINE” is a tribute to the women of Aberdeen. Inspired by “The Book of the City of Ladies” (by Christine De Pizan), this story proposes to imagine the City of Granite Ladies, the safe and free place created by Aberdonian women for themselves, their daughters and granddaughters.
The short is presented by female crew (including the artists, writer, narrator and musician working on this segment).
This story is developed around a few mosaic works realized by Carrie Reichardt during Nuart Aberdeen. Carrie presented the massive ceramic work featuring the Aberdonian women, starting with some names of those who were accused in witchcraft, throughout suffragette movement till contemporary female leaders from Aberdeen. The centerpiece of one of Carrie’s mosaics is a tribute to Caroline Phillips (feminist, suffragette and reporter, who was fighting for the women rights in Aberdeen in the first half of XX century).
The short also feature the works of other female artists:
Milu Correch who dedicated two murals to all the women executed for “practicing witchcraft”. One of her pieces depicting the women with a small ship in hands, artist referring to the second biggest wave of witch persecution in Scotland (XVI century) caused by the rumors that the bad weather following the ships with King James VI and his wife on their way back from Denmark was the result of blackmagic and witchcraft.
Hyuro usually portrays the faceless women “being no one and everyone at the same time”. In this particular piece the Scotland itself and the neighboring England are depicted as women.
Helen Bur, who often uses circle as a part of her visual language seeing it as a symbol of opposing ideas such as “wholeness and simultaneously constraint and restriction” (which gives so many ways for interpretation especially when it comes to the topic of woman in a society).
Also, the works by Hama Woods, local artist Shelagh Swanson, and Hera (female part of Herakut duo) became the part of the story about the “City of Ladies”.
Music by Maiya Hershey
Voice-over: Caitlin Duffy

“THE GREAT WIZARD OF THE NORTH” story was constructed from the two facts about Aberdeen. The first one is related to Rubislaw Quarry which became one of the biggest man-made hole in Europe and gave all the granite to the city. Most of the buildings in Aberdeen are made from fine granite excavated from this quarry, therefore city looks very monumental and grey. Although, because of the mica grains in it, the granite buildings can sparkle and glitter in the sunlight which makes the city look truly magical. Eventually, Rubislaw Quarry was closed in 70’s and “the biggest man-made hole” turned into “lake” filled by the rainwater. Today, it really looks like a natural lake with the birds, trees around it and everything one can imagine when thinking about the lake. The second fact from the history of Aberdeen is about John Henry Anderson, famous Scottish magician known by the stage name “The Great Wizard of the North”. It is believed that he was the first magician pulling a rabbit out of a tophat on the stage. In thirty-five years after Anderson’s death illusionist Harry Houdini visited the Aberdeen for making show in the waters of its harbor honoring the memory of The Great Wizard of the North.
Scottish astronomer James Gregory was also placed among magicians in this story since he was the one who discovered the “diffraction grating” in a very poetic way: through passing sunlight through a bird feather and observing the splitting of sunlight into colors.
This short is the final part. It refers to every previous story and sums up the movie in a way. With references to the “magical” roots of the city, it obviously tells a story about street art as a modern magic practiced in Aberdeen.
Featuring the works by Phlegm, Ben Eine, Ernest Zacharevic, Jan Vormann, Axel Void, Vhils, Anders Gjennestad (aka Strøk), Helen Bur, Dotmasters.
Music by Gabrielle Peake (aka Peake)
P&C 2019 Marigold Music
Voice-over: Peter Coates

  • Kristina Borhes
  • Nazar Tymoshchuk
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Speculative Fiction, Experimental, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 19, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Istanbul International Architecture and Urban Films Festival
    December 7, 2020
  • Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums
    United Kingdom
    June 11, 2020
  • Grenoble Street Art Movie Fest
    May 27, 2021
Director Biography - Kristina Borhes, MZM PROJECTS

Kristina Borhes is a journalist, documentarist and independent researcher focused on the history of graffiti, street art and other practices in urban culture.
Together with Nazar Tymoshchuk they founded "MZM PROJECTS", group of filmmakers known for multidisciplinary approach and specific way of storytelling on the thin border between poetry and non-fiction.

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