Living Lessons in the Museum of Order

Rental Format(s): 16mm film

Tourism in an age of mass incarceration and mass extinction.

Living Lessons in the Museum of Order examines the carceral logics of the Orca Encounter at SeaWorld San Diego and the "Doing Time" tour of the former Alcatraz prison in the San Francisco Bay.

Alcatraz is part of a larger industry of prison tourism that treats prisons and jails as real-life haunted houses. Through an immersive audio tour with stories from prisoners and guards, "Doing Time" reinforces racist beliefs that police and prisons "keep us safe." Gently challenging this narrative, Alcatraz has recently hosted art and educational exhibitions that question the prison industrial complex. Likewise, Alcatraz#s buildings are permanently marked with evidence of Indigenous resistance to settler colonialism during the Occupation of Alcatraz from 1969 to 1971.

In contrast to the empty prison cells and crumbling buildings at Alcatraz, SeaWorld is full of marine life in above-ground tanks with see-through walls. Under pressure from activists and exposés on the cruelty of their practices, SeaWorld's marketing focuses on their habitat conservation and animal rescue efforts, as well as hyperbole about how their scientific research and education materials help marine animals - both captive and wild.

Juxtaposing original 16mm footage, promotional VHS and 16mm footage, and analog video feedback, Living Lessons in the Museum of Order explores the tensions between public fantasies and exploitative practices, as well as between rhetorical updates and continued institutional policies, within the two California entertainment empires.

Living Lessons in the Museum of Order is the second film in Malic's series of experimental, 16mm "mythologies." The trilogy is inspired by semiologist Roland Barthes' Mythologies (1957). Barthes' collection of essays critique imperialist values entwined in everyday media and objects. Using the modality of non-linear essay filmmaking, Malic's work analyzes similar tacit social values tied to specific locales within the United States. The first film in his series, RUN! (2020), was filmed at nuclear industry sites in New Mexico. The film examines how technologies of war structure landscapes, community rituals, entomology, pandemic management, and even notions of LGBTQ+ liberation. The third mythology, new Earth (2025), investigates colonial ideologies and decolonial strategies through the theme of flight - inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Production Credits:
director/cinematographer/editor/sound designer: Malic Amalya
analog video artist / technical engineer/ original score: Nathan Hill

SubTropical Independent Film Festival - Taipei City, Taiwan (2024)
Wide Open Experimental Film Festival - Oklahoma City, OK (2024)
TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Festival - Seattle, WA (2023)
Chicago Underground Film Festival - Chicago, IL (2023)
Revolutions Per Minute Festival - Cambridge, MA (2023)
Fragments Festival - London, United Kingdom (2023)
21e Festival international Signes de Nuit - Paris, France (2023)
Tacoma Film Festival - Tacoma, WA (2023)
GRRL HAUS CINEMA - Cambridge, MA (2023)
Engauge Experimental Film Festival - Seattle, WA (2023)
Cucalorus Film Festival - Wilmington, NC (2023)
Kinoskop - Belgrade, Serbia (2023)
Harkat 16mm Film Festival - Mumbai, India (2023)
The Persian Independent Experimental Short Film Festival - Tehran, Iran (2023)
Cycles and Rhythms: RPM, Pittsburgh Edition; Eberle Studios - Homestead, PA (2023)

Special Mention, Kinoskop Film Festival - Belgrade, Serbia: 2023
SIGNS Award for Short Documentary, 21e Festival international Signes de Nuit - Paris, France: 2023

Rental Fees

16mm film $100.00  

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