The World Premiere of THE SOMNAMBULISTS is on Friday 14 October with additional screenings on Saturday 15 and Monday 17 October
Tickets go on sale to the public Monday 26 September via the BFI website (www.bfi.org.uk/lff)
Richard Jobson’s new film THE SOMNAMBULISTS surrounds 15 testimonies from British
servicemen and women who were involved in the Iraq conflict in Basra.
They have a ghostly presence as they talk about their experiences in a near documentary
style, after each testimony the camera glides into the lives that might have been and the
people they left behind.
Jobson says ‘Like many people I was angered by the Iraq war and like most people did
nothing about it. This is my response to that apathy. In the film although it appears that the
speakers are the ghostly presence, it is in fact we the audience who are the
Somnambulists, it is we who were sleep walking in the build up to the war and its tragic
The story was heavily influenced by the work of photographer Joanna Kane who’s
exhibition The Somnambulists at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery left Jobson deeply
impressed by it’s haunting vision of the space between life and death.
The Somnambulists is produced by Richard Jobson and Alan McKenna for No Bad Films.
The Somnambulists was shot using the Canon 5Dmk2 and 7D
The Somnambulists on the BFI Website: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/node/1808
Richard Jobson’s committed, imaginative response to our collective apathy to the war in Iraq.
Created as a response to our collective apathy to the war in Iraq, this new film marks something of an intriguing departure for Richard Jobson. Inspired by the photographs of Joanna Kane, whose haunting work explores the space between life and death, Jobson has gathered together the testimonies of servicemen and women participating in the conflict in Basra. Contributors are starkly but effectively filmed against a black backdrop, so we concentrate on their words, without distraction. Between these semi-documentary portraits are poetic fragments, glimpses of the lives they have left behind or might have had. Regular soldiers, a bomb disposal expert, a couple of medics and a commanding officer all bear witness to the recurring themes of the conflict: heat, dust, confusion, bravery, camaraderie, vulnerability, terror, loss. For the most part these are ordinary people sent to do an extraordinary job, and varied as their testimonies are, their cumulative effect leaves little doubt of the human cost and tragedy of this war. Jobson is a filmmaker who always works at the cutting edge of technology; here he uses that craft to powerful and memorable effect.