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Poster for Piercing Brightness
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Piercing Brightness

Director: Shezad Dawood Run Time: 77 min. Format: Digital Rating: NR Release Year: 2013

Starring:  Chen Ko,  Derek Siow,  Houda Echouafni,  Jennifer Lim,  Nick Cornwall,  Paul Leonard,  Samantha Elizabeth Edwards,  Tracy Brabin, Bhasker Patel

ART SEEN presents PIERCING BRIGHTNESS, the British science-fiction film by internationally acclaimed artist Shezad Dawood. Q&A with Dawood following the screening.

Two youths land in a spaceship outside Preston. Their mission: to re-establish contact and affect the retrieval of the ‘Glorious 100’ sent to earth millennia ago in human form to study and observe the development of another race. After making contact with one of the 100, now a Pakistani shopkeeper (Bhasker Patel), they discover that many of their kind have become corrupted, forgetting their original purpose and slowly becoming influenced by and in turn influencing their adopted home.

Inspired by Lancashire having the highest rate of UFO sightings in the UK, as well as hosting one of the earliest splinter Mormon communities in the world, Piercing Brightness uses Preston and its inhabitants as a springboard to investigate religious, racial and class-based social hierarchies. Eerily beautiful, the film employs different formats and archival footage of UFO sightings to create a film that is as experimental as it is entertaining.

Piercing Brightness utilizes science fiction as a backdrop from which to contest fixed notions of race, migration and identity. It addresses issues of time, memory and belonging through a careful interplay of mainstream science fiction and its ongoing relationship to more experimental modes of film making. It is the debut feature film directed by acclaimed visual artist Shezad Dawood, scripted by cult novelist Kirk Lake with an original score by Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple (Japan) and featuring music by Alexander Tucker. 

ART SEEN is in partnership with frieze.