The Last Days of Loneliness brings death and Alzheimer’s to ACMI

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The Last Days of Loneliness brings death and Alzheimer’s to ACMI

Words by Lucas Radbourne

The Last Days of Loneliness is the new film by incredibly innovative Australian refugee director Saidin Salkic and it promises to be a unique experience.

Saidin Salkic is a natural treasure in Australia’s avant-garde film industry and his latest film, The Last Days of Loneliness, takes a very personal approach to the director’s obsession with horrific and confronting subjects.

It stars 87-year old Australian film pioneer John Flaus, who now lives with Alzheimer’s disease and features as Salkic’s on-screen collaborator in the film.

What you need to know

  • The Last Days of Loneliness is a new film from Saidin Salkic at ACMI
  • It’s a highly personal and innovative portrayal of ageing, from a director specialising in horrific subjects
  • It’s being screened at ACMI on September 3, or as soon as the pandemic allows

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

Dealing with themes of ageing, death and human connection, the film takes on additional resonance in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, and the disconnection people feel from each other amid constant, intermittent, reconnection.

Alzheimers and dementia are two hot-button issues for filmic discussion at the present time, but Salkic’s unique approach adds another dimension entirely. Salkic, a survivor of the greatest genocide in the history of Europe since WW2, the Srebrenica genocide. Many of Salkic’s works such as Silence’s Crescendo and Swan Lake and the Atomic Bomb are horrifying nightmares that draw into focus the madness of conflict and war and its consequences. Loneliness however, is a more gentle film with love at it’s core, but no less weighty in respect to human emotions.

The film, recently premiered locally in Flaus’s home town of Castlemaine to a packed and appreciative crowd and will now get a second screening in the city of Melbourne at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image on 3rd September.

In the avant-garde experiential film, younger man encounters the old. Both fearful and aware of the impending end. The clock is almost striking 12, it has passed 5 to 12. Celebrating love between two humans they spend time together, until the old one vanishes into the wind.

It is being screened at ACMI on September 3, or as soon as the pandemic allows.

After the screening, a Q&A will be held with Salkic and Flaus, moderated by Maggie Fooke. Book tickets through ACMI here.