Alexandra Midal’s film Possessed is set in a ghost town in California to explore the chiasm between objects that were perceived as subjects and slaves that were perceived as things during the Golden Rush era in North-America, a notion which would change after the 1851 Universal Exhibition, in London.
The visuals for the opening and ending credits establish a connection between the imagery of spirit photography developed in the 19th century, which would portray ghostly human figures covered with white pieces of cloth and the act of covering objects the same way for protection.
As the term “possessed” eludes, the title appears on a constricted piece of cloth, trying to free itself from it and slowly taking on all the space in the screen, symbolically possessing it.
Film by Alexandra Midal
Editing by Mathias Zieba
Film images by Felipe Ribon
Opening/ending titles by Frau im Mond (Lisa Hartje Moura)
Flute by Tiphaine Boulch