Original Film Title: Songs of the Chambermaids
Director’s Name: Mark C. Hewitt
Writer’s Name: Mark C. Hewitt
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Country of Filming: United Kingdom
Runtime: 19 minutes 31 seconds
The narrative arc of Sigmund Freud’s essay Civilization and its Discontents reimagined in the voices of three chambermaids. The sequence, which features music for drum ensemble and guitar by Norwegian jazz percussionist Thomas Strønen, comes from the 9th section of an as-yet-unperformed stage play by writer Mark C. Hewitt called Civilization and its Discontents but works in this digital version as a stand-alone piece. Following Freud’s narrative through three songs, the chambermaids share their woes, contend with the difficulties and frustrations of being a human being (and being a woman) in society and express their outrage at the repeating tragedy of human aggressiveness and violence. All over complex rhythms and shifting drum patterns till the sequence ends in a cacophonous crescendo on the repeating word: SHAME! The black and white edit by artist/videographer Matt Parsons includes distressed film and an increasingly visceral and disturbing torrent of half-seen densely-packed subliminal images evoking mankind’s history of war and atrocity.