I AM (NOT) A MONSTER – For release in March 2019
I am (not) a monster is a multi-platform project (feature-length film, short films, events, musical record, and exhibition) demonstrating the state of ideologies- their origins, formulation and power structures- in contemporary society. It investigates the means by which knowledge is interwoven with the idea of cultural heritage while current development in AI suggests a global notion of ‘collectiveness’. Trained by Noh theatre, Kabuki experts and Sumotoris in Japan, with Bunraku puppets in hand, Nelly Ben Hayoun reenacts and questions the writings of political theorist Hannah Arendt while talking to the world’s most influential thinkers accompanied by Japanese monsters known as Yokais. On her dynamic journey from Ethiopia and Egypt to Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and the UK, she also engages with families, students of alternative educative structures and Hannah Arendt’s students. Together, they try to answer one of the greatest questions of our age: who owns knowledge and the act of thinking?
featuring Prof. Noam Chomsky, Prof. Arjun Appadurai, Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, Hannah Arendt’s students: Richard J. Bernstein, and more.