FRAGMENT 53 is a feature-length documentary film on war considered in its necessary and universal dimension, faced both as an actual and archetypical event. The phenomenon has been investigated on the field in Liberia, a country of peculiar, radical and unsettled conflicts, presenting sceneries, personalities and events ascribable to the essential warfare that the authors aim to evoke. The film develops through a set of first-person accounts selected from a wider amount of interviews with eminent warriors, generals and warlords collected in Liberia between 2011 and 2014. Seven self-contained portraits are presented one after the other, introduced by a voice-off statement from the authors and followed by an epilogue composed by nocturnal images on a set of quotations from former General Philip Wlue's vision of the world. The first person accounts of the warriors are collected and portrayed from a very close angle and position. Through a bare and restless use of a hand camera insisting on their bodies and faces, this approach maintains a continuous tightness between these fighters' accounts and the eye of the camera. Any personal and historical context is excluded from their tales in order to elevate them to a wider and impersonal dimension. This concept leads also the editing of the film that shows a series of isolated, self sufficient and not intercommunicating portraits built through jump cuts and not naturalistic close-up frames.
Federico Lodoli, Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli