The Cage

68 minutes. Camera&Direction: Lior Shamriz

A tale of a man coming back to his troubled home-town becomes a meditation on the queer body and the geography of identity. By dislocating the narrative, the “boys love” neo-noir film interrogates contemporary colonial relationships and troubles the filmmaker’s relationship to ‘the West’.

Presskit and credit list here.

The film is available in three different versions: English, Hebrew and Korean. The Korean and Hebrew versions have a slightly different edit and text, and the music for them was composed by the director, who also narrates the Hebrew version with their own voice. The Korean version is narrated by Kiha Kwon (Allen).

Spring in the Park – The Cage is an assemblage of two films – Spring in the Park and The Cage in total length of 105 minutes.

Left: The director at 20, with their father, photographed by their brother, 1998
Right: A still image from "The Cage", with actors Kiha Kwon and Lee Yang-hee
Left: The director at 20, with their father, photographed by their brother, 1998
Right: A still image from “The Cage”, with actors Kiha Kwon and Lee Yang-hee

“‘The Cage’ takes place in fictional lands that are strongly inspired by Ashkelon, Israel (where I grew up) and Berlin, Germany (where I lived for a decade beginning my late twenties). I wanted to film it in east Asia as a way to play with and perhaps resist both Israel and Germany’s processes of “art-washing” – the way governments and hegemonic powers legitimize themselves by enabling the production of critical films and political art in their territories. In particular, with Israel, I was cautious of the way the mere act of staging a fiction film in a place, normalizes an oppressive regime and occupation. I wasn’t a White European embarking on an excursion to film in ‘exotic’ or ‘blank slate’ Asia. I was going as a Middle Eastern, exoticized daily myself (Iraqi/Iranian Jew born in Israel). I went east after going west for so long. The lands I went to ‘explore’ were South Korea and Taiwan – strong vibrant economies with rich cinematic histories. I went there to think about place and identity and make a nouveau-noir story dissecting myths of identity and the queer body. … ” [READ MORE]

The Cage (2017) / What Kind of Times Are These from spektakulativ on Vimeo.

Installation view at the Interdisciplinary Art Festival Tokyo

Produced by Spektakulativ Pictures, Liav Shamriz & Ruth Martin, Studio Nandashii, Heng-Chieh Lee, Bbooks Av

Produced with support from Geumcheon Seoul Art Space, Taipei Artist Village, iPix Taipei and crowdfunding:  Itay Schiff, Ursula Hueffer, Guillaume Cailleau, Caitlin H Adams, Paul Outlaw, Amnon Friedman, Paula Eichhorn, Stephen J Andrews, Anett Vietzke, Maya Kenig, Nina Fig, Ruth Teresa Martin De La Calle And Liav Shamriz, Avi Evan, Ron Naiweld, Bc Jiny 22, Sylbee Kim, Sander Houtkruijer, Sammy Loren, Teodora Stepancic, Mark Rappaport, Martin Schneider, Brian Getnick, Elwira Hiera, Aline Bo,  Cho Eun Chung, Rasi Levinas