‘Forgotten Silver’ by Peter Jackson – Life Before ‘The Lord of the Rings’

The famous New Zealand director Peter Jackson once said that he divided his life into three parts: before, during and after The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This year’s ZFF Mockumentaries section screens one of his ‘before’ films – the documentary Forgotten Silver, made in 1996.

The film contains motifs often appearing in Jackson’s works – shooting in New Zealand, an axe, mother-child relationship, and the director himself appearing before the camera.

Forgotten Silver portrays the career of an allegedly forgotten pioneer of modern cinema and special effects – Colin McKenzie – born 1888 in rural New Zealand. Jackson embarks on a search for the film set from his Bible epic Salome, somewhere in the woods of New Zealand, and in conversations with influential colleagues and filmmakers like Leonard Maltin and Harvey Weinstein he is trying to restore the forgotten genius’s lost fame.

Mockumentaries also present Incident at Loch Ness – about the making of a documentary film by Werner Herzog, one of the most significant documentarians and representatives of the German New Wave, portrayed in a documentary by the famous cinematographer John Bailey.

Film critic Diana Nenadić has selected several more of the finest classics and typical representatives of the genre, including Year of the Devil by the famous Czech director Petr Zelenka, a rockumentary about the charismatic and mystical members of the Čechomor band, a version of the iconic Spinal Tap.

Another program entry is Tito Among the Serbs for the Second Time by Želimir Žilnik – a great director and winner of the 1969 Golden Bear for Early Works, competed opposite Godard, Buñuel and De Palma. This summer at Motovun Film Festival, Žilnik won the Maverick Award for his unconventional and original approach to cinema.