Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian

United Kingdom , 2019 / 98 min / English & Japanese OV with English subt. / documentary

Collaboration Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
In the presence of director Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian

I Am (Not) A Monster” investigates the act of thinking in the 21st century as well as fears associated with it.

“To act is to begin with something new”, said Hannah Arendt, one of the greatest thinkers of all time and coiner of the idea of “banality of evil”. This original, bombastic and unapologetic performance on the political theorist by the director and alternative educator Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian takes viewers on an impossible pursuit through four continents looking for the source of knowledge. I Am (Not) a Monster is a most urgent film unravelling some of the reasons why Trump, Le Pen and others have captured people’s imaginations by reviving past ideologies. From dangerous plots to dangerous actions, viewers will learn about modern society’s collective fears both past and present but also encounter the contemporary monsters and actors of the future: the humanoids. Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian, armed with puppets and dressed as Hannah Arendt, teases the greatest thinkers of our age whilst challenging them to define knowledge.

Tue 10/03 20:30 Ciné Utopia EN & JP OV with EN subt. Public

“A concoction of humour and outside-the-box thinking, I Am (Not) a Monster deals with a topic which, told more rigidly, could have been a tough nut to crack. But presented with a generous dose of whimsy, almost like tricking a child into taking their medicine […] reminds her audience in a light-hearted way about the importance of knowledge in the era of systematic mendacity.” Liina Laugesaar, Cineuropa, 14/10/19

Cast & Credits
Noam Chomsky, Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova, Magid Magid, Arjun Appadurai, Efrem Amare, Neil Harbisson, Tosa Novmichi, Hisa Uzawa, Richad Bernstein
Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian
Fiona Braillon
Cliff Rossitter
Lucrecia Dalt, Pussy Riot, Colin Self, Azmach, Sugai Ken, Blues Control & Laraaji
Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios
Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios

Nelly Ben Hayoun is a critical explorer and artist, a fearless and passionate provocateur and a designer of multi-dimensional experiential projects at the intersection of science, theatre, politics, music and design. Her work has been exhibited among others at the MOMA and the Met. In 2014, Wired awarded her their inaugural Innovation Fellowship recognising her as one of the top 50 designers “shaping the future”, while Creative Review named her one of the Creative Leaders 50 driving change not just within their organisation but in the world at large. She founded and leads the hybrid design studio NBH Studios in London which worked for NASA, the BBC, Lego and The Guardian. She is the founder and director of the International Space Orchestra, the first orchestra made up entirely of scientists and NASA astronauts. More recently, she founded the University of the Underground, a free, pluralistic and transnational university based in the basement of nightclubs, which aims to bring generations together to democratise access to public institutions, triggering changes and critical reflections through the use of experiential practices. She also works as a United Nations Advisor to the UN Virtual Reality labs and as a UN Education Goalkeeper. She has directed three feature-length documentaries, including Disaster Playground (2015) which was awarded one of the UK’s most renowned artistic awards, The Arts Council England Exceptional Award.

  • 2019 – I Am (Not) a Monster (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2015 – Disaster Playground (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2013 – The International Space Orchestra (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)