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Domestic Karaoke

2013 DOK Leipzig, International Short Documentary Competition, Healthy Workplaces Film Award
Belgium | 2013 | 35 min. | French | English subtitles | International Premiere
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Domestic Karaoke | Karaoké domestique

A documentary experiment: six women, three housemaids and three employers, who discuss housework and hierarchies, respect and social status, habits and dreams in front of different-coloured backgrounds (red, blue and yellow). Fragmented tales of work and family circumstances make the viewer create their own montage in their heads. Biographies crystallize in front of their inner eye.
All six women, aged between 35 and 64, are played by the filmmaker Inès Rabadán herself. Costumes and masks are identical, so the women whose stories we share are neither marked as representatives of their class (or profession) nor as individual personalities. We hear (and experience!) only their voices and see the actor-director’s magnificent appropriation of their respective personalities through lip-synching and miming. It seems as if Inès Rabadán translated Brecht’s theoretical scepticism of the reliability of simple documentary representation into visual practice: “A recording of the Krupp works or AEG yields almost nothing about these institutes. Actual reality has slipped into the functional. To achieve truth, something must be constructed, something artificial, staged.”

Ralph Eue
Original Title: Karaoké domestique
Country: Belgium
Year: 2013
Language: French
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 35 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Inès Rabadán
Producer: Inès Rabadán
Cinematographer: Olan Bowland
Editor: Inès Rabadán
Music: Alice Vande Voorde, Vera Cavallin
Sound: Thibaut Darscotte
Script: Inès Rabadán
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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.