The Forgotten Space is the sea, that immense space through which nearly ninety percent of the world’s cargo now passes: “100,000 invisible ships. One and a half million invisible sailors binding the world together through trade.” The container, invented in the 1950s, has become the most important means of maritime transportation in the decades since then. The essay film The Forgotten Space follows the ships’ movements from port to port.


Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, makers of the essay film The Forgotten Space, won the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.


Photographer, writer, filmmaker and art theorist Allan Sekula was born in 1951 in Erie, Pennsylvania, and died in 2013 in Los Angeles. Since his time as a student at the University of San Diego, where he took classes with Marcuse, Sekula applied a critical approach to the mechanisms of capitalism. He published a number of books, including Fish Story, 1995, a wide-ranging portrait of global maritime trade made up of photographs and texts. Born in San Francisco in 1932, Noël Burch has lived and worked in France since 1951. He is known for his numerous theoretical writings on film, compiled in books such as Theory of Film Practice and La lucarne de l’infini. He has made six other films.

The Forgotten Space, 2010, won the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.

The Forgotten Space
Produced by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch
The Netherlands, 2010
Narration: Allan Sekula
Courtesy of Icarus Films

Commissarié par: Louise Simard