A Darkness Swallowed | Chicago Reader

A Darkness Swallowed

The first images in Betzy Bromberg's 16-millimeter experimental feature are scallop-edged photographs of a damaged car parked in a field; one shows a child peering inquisitively through the passenger window. In her narration Bromberg says she's haunted by the photos, which evoke strong memories of her mother, but reveals that she found them in a thrift store. The balance of the film treats memory more abstractly, as Bromberg pans restlessly across subterranean skeletal remains, spiderwebs, grottoes, tunnels, and flowing water. Accompanied by a richly percussive soundtrack, her images are intensely tactile, alternately lush and desiccated, and convey the delicate connection between past and present. 78 min.

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