22 November – The Challenge by Yuri Ancarani (part of IDFA)

challenge

Falconry is not a medieval sport in the Qatari desert, where tradition and high tech come together, resulting in images of hypnotic beauty.

Huge SUVs gather for Mad Max-style races across the dunes. In search of the ultimate speed thrill, a man roars across the desert in his Lamborghini, a cheetah in the passenger seat. Tough bikers in leather jackets roll out prayer mats on the desert sand. A falconer takes his birds to a tournament by private jet. All these dazzling sights tell the story of a weekend in the Qatari desert. Hunting with falcons is the leitmotif that links the various the stories together – a tradition that goes back some four thousand years. This sport, in which the falcon must catch a dove as quickly as possible, is still extremely highly regarded, with special breeders, auctions and vets who polish beaks and fit artificial wings. It’s a very serious business.

The Italian artist Yuri Ancarani performed extensive research within this world, resulting in an intense and at times estranging reportage in sound and image. Tradition and the most up-to-date technologies come together in a boundless landscape populated exclusively by men.

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