Writing Desire

She is loving and traditional… yet, no matter her traditionalism, she sets herself up on the world wide web to find a husband, most likely from the West as she is from the “dark, undeveloped, barbaric” part of the earth.

Ursula Biemann’s film, “Writing Desire”, confused me, as in fact, does the whole process of ordering women online. I just watched “Birthday Girl” a few days ago, but still, when thinking about this phenomenon, the first film which comes to my mind is “Lilya 4-ever”, which might actually be one of the most tragic films I ever saw. It saddens and revolts me not the idea of putting yourself out for sale on the internet, but the motives and lack of options behind it. In Romania, there was this phenomenon a few years ago which I kind of associated this whole process of online wives, when people, qualified people, left the country to work in other countries in places where the locals would never think of working and for a petty salary which was anyway more than they would have earned in Romania. These people weren’t just some unemployed young people, they were mostly parents, who saw their children once a year, if lucky because they thought that for their kids the money they sent was more important than their presence.

I think the video’s lack o narrative is replaced by suggestive images, running at a fast pace because of the sound background. And even though it blitz you with all these images, some of them representing just cities at night, and with the rhythmic melody which resembles the song from Holiday’s advertising, you still get the feeling that this is not a promotional advert for your perfect vacation. Something in the monotony of the sound background, the blurry images, their changing speed gives the viewer, meaning me, the feeling that what it represents is awfully wrong. Of course, the silence moments, the black moments, and the verbal discourse come to reinforce this feeling, to confirm it. And the title, “Writing desire” is ambiguous. Whose desire? How can you write a desire? The desire for writing? Well, the desire these women are writing is not actually written but can be read between the lines, it is their desire for a better life, their desire to escape from the place and the life they are forced to live.

Leave a Reply