„Das Glitzern im Barbieblut“ / through the eyes of…

„Das Glitzern im Barbieblut“ seen through the eyes of Azin Feizabadi, member of the preselection team of Berlinale Shorts.

We are in a car museum. Her little daughter observes from a distance a homeless person with a furry blue headscarf, taking off his brand new, white Nike trainers to rest and massage his feet. At the same time, the mother asks: “How long did it take? From the first blade of grass, to the invention of the lawnmower? And from the invention of fire, to the internet?”

Cause and effect! Or: are we humans merely the result of an accident that happened in the universe millions of years ago? Bing, Boom, Bang, and here we are, taking ourselves far too seriously. Running in a loop and never pausing, like Tom Cruise on all his impossible missions, trying to reach the final goal – that ultimately is death and nothing else.

What is the meaning of life? Am I becoming a nihilist?

In Ulu Braun’s “Glittering Barbieblood”, when a little girl starts recording with her brand new handheld camera whatever she finds interesting, life very much begins to make sense again. The otherwise unrelated peripheral elements of the world around us – which we usually ignorantly pass by – start to interconnect. That’s what happens in the world of “Glittering Barbieblood”. Because this world is an in-between space in the true sense of the word. It lies in a gap in time, between the conscious and the subconscious, inside the very thin crack of reality and imagination, emotion and technology, socio-politics and aesthetics. In the world of “Glittering Barbieblood”, the colour blue, a pink cleaning bottle, the Statue of Liberty, the saint of the streets Dennis D. Cooper, a compact disc, Lula the missing brown cat, tinnitus and hearing aids, the existential number 3 and the city of Detroit are all interlinked: they are each other’s cause and effect, a circle, an ouroboros. A playful and day-to-day survivalist artist – a single mother and her two little children – are the mediators between these accidental-looking elements of everyday life.

“Mama, how did you know I was thinking of a polar bear?” And just before the family sets off on foot to travel further into America, the mother replies: “There are invisible connections over very wide distances.”

The more we travel with the family into a variety of places overseas, the more we learn about the life story of the mother and her children, understand her urgency and the emotional driving force of the film. And the more the various puzzles fit together to create a grand image, the more fascinated we become about the making of such a careful choreography of minor (and some major) stories. Which came first? The egg or the chicken? The script or the footage? The story of the family or the concept of the film? I’d prefer not to know the answer and just to raise the questions in order to remain in the imaginative, playful and thought-provoking realm that is a key to the experience of “Glittering Barbieblood”.

Azin Feizabadi is an Iranian born Berlin based filmmaker and visual artist. He is a member of the selection committee of Berlinale Shorts since 2020 and the short film section of the Kasseler Dokfest since 2018. 

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