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TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

Yael Bartana / Germany, Netherlands / 2021 / 47 min / World Premiere
A panel of female experts is confronted with a devastating nuclear threat in a radical performative work that stages real experts in a fictitious setting.

What if women ruled the world? Yael Bartana stages the question in practice in her performative ‘Two Minutes to Midnight’, where a female government in a fictitious country must take a stand on an imminent nuclear threat from a foreign nation, led by the self-absorbed president Twittler. A panel of fictional characters and real female experts from areas such as defence, law, politics and psychology are tasked with agreeing on how to approach the situation in Bartana’s role play, which takes place in a democratic ‘Peace Room’, mirroring the toxically masculine ‘War Room’ in Stanley Kubrick’s classic Cold War satire, ‘Dr. Strangelove’. In the meantime, the clock is ticking, but when the red phone rings you can almost hear your own heartbeat. Bartana’s visionary work is the synthesis of an interdisciplinary four-year process, which analyses the geopolitical power game – and presents us with an alternative to macho power discourse. The film incorporates public performances held in Berlin, Philadelphia and Aarhus.