Aug 10: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

The latest work by filmmaker Sophie Fiennes.


“The documentaries I like to make are observational, rather than voyeuristic,” says filmmaker Sophie Fiennes, sister of actors Ralph and Joseph, whose subjects have included the Pentecostal Los Angeles preacher Noel Jones (father of Grace). Her latest work, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, opening August 10, chronicles artist Anselm Kiefer at work in Barjac, in the South of France. There, on the site of an abandoned silk factory, he designed an atelier and living space, a veritable city of concrete towers complete with underground tunnels, crypt, amphitheater, and pool. It was Kiefer who asked Fiennes to shoot his final year on the project in 2008, a task she accomplishes with a sensitive, roaming eye that delves into the artist’s process without benefit of voiceover narration. In one particularly magical moment, Kiefer and his crew hoist a painting he has covered in ash, and Fiennes lets us hear the sound of the ash falling as the work underneath is revealed. “To me,” says Fiennes, whose next subject is Grace Jones, “it’s much more precious to view something in its unfolding than to talk about it.”

Photo: courtesy of Magnolia Films