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A Short Film for Laos is available to watch online from 17 November - 10 December

You can choose between versions of the film with Laotian subtitles or English subtitles. The Laotian dialogue within the film is not translated or subtitled.

Ticket prices

Tickets to watch the film are available on a sliding scale. You can refer to our Sliding Scale Guide to help you choose what to pay. Please note that, if affordable, a ticket price of £2 or more allows us to cover our baseline costs for hosting the film securely online. If you would like to book a free ticket, you can do so using the code 'CAMPLE-FREE' at checkout. You won’t be asked for any proof or ID.

Filmed in 2006, A Short Film For Laos is a portrait of contemporary Laos featuring numerous encounters with its inhabitants, and linking footage of the present day with remnants of myths and war. 

Of the film, Sekula said that he felt obligated as an American to visit the 'Plain of Jars', an archaeological landscape in Laos consisting of thousands of stone jars scattered around the central plain of the Xiangkhoang Plateau, and a site that was heavily bombed by the US Air Force during its nine-year bombing campaign in Laos (1964-1973). 

'In the retelling, the story of the war and the 'mystery of the jars' begin to intertwine. An ancient civilization forged an electrical connection to the sky and a secret magnetism brought American bombers to earth, where they were refashioned into spoons.' — Allan Sekula

After the screening, Stephanie will share a short response to the film, placing it in context with Sekula’s wider creative practice.

This is our second presentation of Sekula’s work at Cample Line, following our 2019 screening of Allan Sekula and Noel Burch’s The Forgotten Space (2010).

This screening of A Short Film for Laos is hosted in partnership with Andrew MacCrimmon / The Glasgow School of Art. 


Allan Sekula (1951-2013) was an influential artist, writer, and teacher. His works include books, photographic sequences, written texts, slide sequences, and sound recordings. They frequently focus on large economic systems, critiquing global capitalism and reflecting on power relations in contemporary society.

His films and videos have included Tsukiji (2001), Gala (2005), The Lottery of the Sea (2006), and A Short Film For Laos (2006). Sekula’s books include Photography Against The Grain (1984), Fish Story (1995), Dismal Science (1999), Performance Under Working Conditions (2003), Titanic's Wake (2003), and Polonia and Other Fables (2009).

Dr Stephanie Schwartz is Associate Professor of American Art at University College London. Her research and teaching address photography and its histories, with a particular emphasis on American documentary. Stephanie is the author of Walker Evans: No Politics (University of Texas Press, 2020) and the editor of Modernism After Paul Strand, a special issue of the Oxford Art Journal (2015). She is currently writing Forgetting Reagan: Allan Sekula’s Documentary for MACK Books Discourse series. 

Andrew MacCrimmon is an artist, curator and early-stage researcher based in Glasgow. His work is concerned with the use of photography as a social practice and the presentation of images, both still and moving, as a tool of critique. Applying a critical realist approach, recurring themes in his work range from representations of labour to analyses of wider economic systems.

Andrew is a PhD student at The Glasgow School of Art and his current research project entitled ‘Assembled Movies’ investigates the moving image works of American theorist, artist and writer Allan Sekula, specifically those made between 2001 and 2012. It examines the works from this period as a body of work and how Sekula utilises the medium in various forms to further offer greater scope in addressing the thematic concerns he had been confronting since the 1970s, primarily through sequences of documentary images and text.

Supported by Friends of GSA and Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery funding from the BFI.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    45 minutes
  • Language
    English, Lao, French
  • Director
    Allan Sekula
  • Screenwriter
    Allan Sekula
  • Cast
    Allan Sekula
  • Editor
    Elizabeth Hesik