This video goes out on a search. Our mission is to go with it. It is not an easy task to go out and explore the terrains around which this new production by Toni Serra (2005) wanders. It seems as though all the paths that the main characters in this seven minute film traverse, looking for water, with us, the spectators, as their only company, lead all to our own selves, to then have us surrender without resistance to our most hopeless of states, to what the poet described as “the deepest within the dark well of our heart”. There is no escape, the march towards knowledge of oneself seems inevitable, it cannot be avoided. Last Night Dirk is full of images, symbols and metaphors, but they are all nothing but the reflection of the one looking, projections that reveal our own inner selves to us, our most spiritual, and therefore unknown, selves.
This video by Toni Serra is based on a poem by the XII Century Uzbekistani Sufi master Najmudin Kubra. It is to be located within a very singular terrain, that some have come to call auteur documentary. The film offers us the journey of a group of men searching for water in the desert lands of Morocco. This exploration, laden with metaphors and symbols, seems to lead us, as the film progresses, into that world which each and everyone of us, as Toni Serra seems to be telling us with the voice of the Sufi poet, are carrying inside, that world which we can only have access to when we descend to the dark well that surrounds our heart. On screen, a prostrated man’s naked torso, with a deep hole in the middle, invites us to know ourselves, to know more about ourselves, to understand, or at least to carefully ask ourselves what we are, what we are made of, what our desires are made of, and, in short, what do we go after, what are we chasing, what are we searching.
Last Night Dirk can also be interpreted as a compilation of writings addressed to all travelers in a spiritual journey, all those who live through every stage, through each and every subtle and specific experience that they find in their journey. To join Toni Serra in this video is to confront a number of contemplative experiences which undoubtedly will spring up in our path, waiting for an answer.
And now, the spectator must face the challenge of explaining and giving meaning to all which occurs in this desert land, a land which hides inside it an ocean of crystalline water, the water in our wells.
In walking we question. In walking we go. Let’s walk then.