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Internationally acclaimed ventriloquist Nina Conti, takes the bereaved puppets of her mentor and erstwhile lover Ken Campbell on a pilgrimage to 'Venthaven' the resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. She gets to know her latex and wooden travelling partners along the way, and with them deconstructs herself and her lost love in this ventriloquial docu-mocumentary requiem. Ken Campbell was a hugely respected maverick of the British Theatre, an eccentric genius who would snort out forgotten artforms. Nina was his prodigy in ventriloquism and has been said to have reinvented the artform. This film is truly unique in genre and style. No one has seen ventriloquism like this before. Written by
Nina Conti's film begins with the film-maker asking herself a peculiar question - is this a documentary? - which leads one to wonder, how doesn't she know? Bt the truth is, it is both a documentary and a performance, for Conti, a ventriloquist, is undoubtedly acting for the camera, yet also seems to reveal the extent to which so many practitioners of her art really do live through their creations. Conti seems more natural, almost, in character than as herself - and this is in effect why her former lover first encouraged her to take up the art, as a way of unleashing her creative side. Now he is dead, and this film is a kind of homage to him. Aside from Conti's own genius, what makes this potentially bizarre film work is what it has to say about the way that human beings choose their own characters; and how some of us manage to escape from them.
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