Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Dark Tourism - A Short Film on a Shielded Topic

Chris Lloyd, a filmmaker and student in his final year at USW Cardiff, recently released a short film called Trips to Tragedy: Dark Tourism concerned with the controversial yet therapeutic experience of dark tourism. As you may have guessed, this specific 'genre' of tourism is associated with tragedies and loss in most cases, think serial killers, natural disasters, unsolved horrors. The punishing factor of the subject is the realism of these instances, the kind of realism that wraps around your ankles and hauls you back down to sorrow and disbelief, but fundamentally brings you down to the depths of the world you live in.

Most tourism is rooted in remembrance, be it of accomplishments, crimes or cruelties. Trips to 
Tragedy runs for around fifteen minutes and has Chris' informing you upon such tourist attractions close to his home. I won't mention the instances in which are explored as I'd very much like for you to watch it and, as I did, end up researching the subjects further because it's always nice to be interested and engaged and that's exactly where this short film had me.

Introduced to the concept with powerful places in time like Hitler's podium and morbid fascinations of Anne Frank's trials, the foundations of Trips to Tragedy are very much supported by the human experience. The way we explore and find meaning in specific instances in life and the emotions that come with them. This film allows us to witness a man standing in the area of a tragedy he was involved in, and as a survivor, explain how it makes him feel. That to me is not only a very interesting spectacle, it's a heart-warmingly human experience.

With this very controversial topic comes a shroud, those who experienced the tragedy or were around at the time of it, a taint on the entire subject. People want to hide it, ignore it. Whilst we see the other side of the spectrum, with opportunists and murder-belia collectors, the film tip-toes between a harrowing remembrance and a very real and interesting informative punch that Chris has researched and provides the viewers with.

This short film is a unique and interesting watch, it's an investigative documentary that feels like you're earning the information alongside the director. Tthe unbiased approach really allows for your own understanding of dark tourism, Trips to Tragedy: Dark Tourism is as contemplative and complex as its subject matter and I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar appear as a BBC/Nat Geo series or something similar.

Check out the fifteen minute film here and let Chris know what you think!

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