FAULT Film: Meego Marrón’s ‘Mad World’

“An artist’s duty is to reflect the times…” is the renowned Nina Simone quote that opens director Meego Marrón’s latest film entitled ‘Mad World’ and the quote’s sentiment reverberates throughout the entire project. 

While the battlegrounds Simone spoke of in the 1960s have shifted, digitised and unfortunately reformed with time, the sentiment remains true today – whether some heed the advice or not. Nevertheless, steel is forged through fire and the most trying times can birth the world’s most inspirational of artworks. With ‘Mad World’s inception taking place during a global pandemic and no signs of respite from the world’s madness, we headed to the final screening of the film at Berlin’s Oyoun to find out more. 

Directed by Meego Marrón with videography from Gabrielle Kwarteng, costume design by Josiane Mutombo Ilung and music composed by Suga – The short film is a surreal excursion into the minds of the creators. The film utilises several mediums to advance the story, all performed to the beat of Director Meego Marrón’s spoken word poem ‘Mad World’. Though filmed entirely on a camera phone, you would never know – a testament more to the high craftsmanship and resilience employed by the team than how far technology has come.

Through dance, music, documentary and dramatic performance – the movie holds up a mirror to our society while simultaneously acting as a looking glass into Meego’s lived experiences. 

While the surrealness and at times vagueness of the narrative works to its advantage, there is dark humour in the ambiguity of some verses. 

Written last year, as the narrator speaks: 

“Viele beschweren sich und keine Taten!”

“Many complain and no action!”

“Es tut mir leid, wir werden Euch nicht gerecht.” , 

“I am sorry, we do not do you justice.” 

you can’t help but ask “which of the many injustices could he be referencing!?”. Reproductive rights, police brutality, voter suppression, all of the above and more have permeated the zeitgeist and through the obscurity of the passage, we’re forced to reckon with the realisation that injustice, whichever the writer alludes to, is something we have in abundance. 

However, the project isn’t inherently one of despair. In many ways, the story not told on screen is where you’ll find this film’s most positive achievement. It can’t be disregarded that the hands that have woven this tapestry are black; while a marginalised group within Germany, these creatives have come together to create something of incalculable importance – community. Through this congregation of black minds, one can still find serenity within the world’s madness, possibly the unforeseen statement that permeates this piece of work. 

“An artist’s duty is to reflect the times”, and Mad World managed to do so in more ways than one. In Meego Marrón’s own words “If we only want to see the good, how will the world continue to develop?” – and see how the film manages to pair the uncertainty, trepidation and isolation of the outside world on screen, while uplifting and celebrating the talented community which made the project possible. 

It’s a mad world, but not one without hope. 

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