With a mix of disembodied archival dialogue and footage, lucid cinematography, and a generally contemplative pace and wandering structure, Zuhair Mehrali’s “Sketches” delivers a beautifully realized, experimental portrait of a fractured cultural / geographic history.

The artist observing and being observed deliberately sketches in pastel while the landscapes surrounding him are simultaneously explored freely by the camera and, even deeper, excavated through archival excerpts that play strangely, peacefully over these natural images. The result is something singular, powerful, and instantly distinguishable. “Sketches” establishes itself from the very beginning as a visually stunning, conceptually accomplished, culturally inquisitive viewing experience.