Scenes of Extraction

Sahnehaye Estekhra

Sanaz Sohrabi / Canada, Iran / 2023 / 43′ / Farsi | Italian subtitles

Scenes of Extraction creates an archival constellation of still and moving images from the British Petroleum Archives, documenting the vast colonial network behind British geophysical expeditions that stretched across Iran but also reached other British oil operations in Southeast Asia. The film focuses on the parallel production of geological and ethnographic surveys, both through amateur geological footage and official technical surveys produced by BP. It winds through decades of archival documents to analyze the visual history of the “reflection seismography” method for oil exploration, which has been extensively tested along Iran’s oil belt despite its destructive nature. Situated at the crossroads of science and technology studies and media archaeology, the film traces the technical legacy of these geophysical methods that are still used in deep-sea mining and are the backbone of the global energy complex. Blending archival and speculative modes of representing the geological past, Scenes of Extraction reveals the gaps and discrepancies between the archival and lived histories of extraction and the resulting ecological ruin.

Screenplay Sanaz Sohrabi
Editing Sanaz Sohrabi
Musics Showan Tavakol
Sound design Chris Leon
Sound Chris Leon
Producer Sanaz Sohrabi
Animation Siavash Naghshbandi

Sanaz Sohrabi
Born in 1988 in Tehran, she is a visual culture researcher and artist-filmmaker. Sohrabi’s works have been widely exhibited in exhibitions and festivals, including: Berlinale Forum Expanded, International Film Festival Rotterdam, IndieLisboa (Silvestre Best Short Film section), Valdivia International Film Festival Chile (Special Jury Mention), Iran Cinéma Vérité Festival (Winner of the International Medium Length Category), Mimesis Documentary Film Festival (Best Documentary Short), Ann Arbor Film Festival (Jury Prize), Open City Documentary Film Festival, Montréal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM), Sheffield Doc/Fest, Kasseler Dokfest, Videonale, VideoEX Zurich, FIDBA Argentina, among others. Sohrabi’s recent exhibitions include the Ljubljana Biennial 2023, SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, VOX Centre de l’image contemporaine in Montréal, and Carpintarias de São Lázaro in Lisbon.

May 29 6:00 p.m.
Cinema Intrastevere Hall 2
Luca Peretti, film historian, introduces