The Forgotten Space
Directed by Allan Sekula & Noel Burch • Documentary • 2010 • 112 minutes
The 'forgotten space' of Allan Sekula and Noel Burch's essay film is the sea, the oceans through which 90% of the world's cargo now passes. At the heart of this space is the container box, which, since its invention in the 1950s, has become one of the most important mechanisms for the global spread of capitalism.
The film follows the container box along the international supply chain, from ships to barges, trains, and trucks, mapping the byzantine networks that connect producers to consumers (and more and more frequently, producing nations to consuming ones). Visiting the major ports of Rotterdam, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Guangdong province, and many places between, it connects the economic puzzle pieces that corporations and governments would prefer remain scattered.
"Engrossing and provocative."—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"THE FORGOTTEN SPACE begins as an investigative documentary and concludes as a mythopoeic essay on modernity and the sea."—Artforum