Directed by Mirza / Butler
Additional Cinematography by Jake Astbury
Deep State (Mirza & Butler’s new film, scripted by science fiction author China Mieville and commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella) takes its title from the Turkish term “Derin Devlet”, meaning a “state within the state". Though impossible to verify, the deep state allegedly manipulates political and economic policy to ensure its interests within seemingly democratic frameworks. This film tells a story about the representation of political struggle, moments of crisis, solidarity, schisms and oppression. Archive footage slices through a science fiction inflected narrative which is propelled by the relationships between those drawn together in the struggle against the deep state. The deep state is imaged as an amorphous, submerged totality which makes itself present through uncanny bleeds of colour. Its opposition is a time travelling rioter who passes through holes in conventional history created by the irruptive power of riots; these grainy portals evade the panopticon-like gaze of the deep state.