“People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.” Rumi
Don’t Go Back to Sleep is an experimental narrative feature-length video created, directed, shot and edited by Stanya Kahn. Her sound design forms a core of the film’s infrastructure and includes original compositions by Kahn and musician Keith Wood (of Hush Arbors and Thurston Moore’s band Chelsea Light Moving). Further extending a video practice that allows fluid boundaries between the real and the fictive, narrative and abstraction, Kahn directs an ensemble cast of mostly non-actors to perform in scripted and improvised scenarios in which their subjectivity and agency become central to the film’s construction. Shooting almost entirely in Kansas City, Kahn builds darkly comedic and uncanny scenes revolving around groups of medical professionals stationed in newly built, vacant homes as they prepare for impending emergencies. Time alternately slows and speeds as the characters are suspended in the inbetween of waiting, their effective potential activated by constant uncertainty and disasters already underway.
For this UK Premiere of Don’t Go Back To Sleep we will be joined by director Stanya Kahn for a post-screening Q&A.
Made with the support of Grand Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation