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The Citadel

Cordelia Swann
1992
14 min Colour/B & W<br> Super 8/Betacam

The Citadel

"Once there was a woman who lived alone in a fairly prosperous citadel. If the weather was fine, a rare and precious occurence, she would go out and explore, or she would do the shopping..." C.S.

"Chronicling the feelings and impressions of a not so sympathetic woman in the year of the first Gulf War we see a London at war that is, conveniently for its inhabitants, '...somewhere else.'" - C.S.

"'The Citadel'... marked a new stage of maturity in Swann's newly adopted autobiographical mode. Centring on the story of a woman who continues her life and goes about her everyday business in the relative safety of London as the Gulf War rages thousands of miles away, the film is overtaken by its sumptuous visuals of the city which manage to combine grandeur and the everyday. The underlying theme of danger and death is a grounding foil to the visual sumptuousness of the film and a contrast that can be found in a lot of Swann's work." - Sotiris Kyriacou

'Once there was a woman who lived alone in a fairly prosperous citadel. If the weather was fine, a rare and precious occurence, she would go out and explore, or she would do the shopping...' Inspired by the tragedy of Dido and the fall of Carthage, with references to the stoning of Mary Magdalene and the execution of others, The Citadel documents the perceptions, actions and dreams of a woman as she experiences, or rather, doesn't experience, national and world events. Using a range of stunning imagery within an allegorical structure, The Citadel follows the imaginary journey of a woman through a city of beauty and desolation. Shot in lyrical documentary tradition, akin to the work of Humphrey Jennings, the piece weaves together a subjective narrative with an idiosyncratic vision of London.

[NFT programme notes- LEA presents Cordelia Swann]

Narration Maria Perry
Camera Cordelia Swann
Producer/Edit Cordelia Swann/Marek Budzynski
Featuring Asha Rao

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