Join us for this Monday’s screening of ‘Indocumentales,’ Llévate mis amores, a documentary that tells the stories of the women who live in La Patrona, a Mexican village that is situated by the tracks of a train from Central America that brings many migrants North to the U.S..
Brazilian sensation Neon Bull by Gabriel Mascaro is still playing at Cinema Village, be sure to check it out on the big screen. “Astonishing…a profound reflection on the intersection of the human and bestial” says Stephen Holden in his review of the film for the New York Times.
The 15th edition of Tribeca Film Festival ends this weekend, be sure to check the Latin American titles listed below.
And be sure to check out the film work of three acclaimed Latin American visual artists: Cao Guimarães, Beatriz Muñoz Santiago, and Carlos Motta.
LLÉVATE MIS AMORES
Monday, April 25, 6:30pm King Juan Carlos I Center
(Arturo González Villaseñor, Mexico, 2014, In Spanish with English subtitles)
Mexico and the United States share the greatest border between the first and the third world. That makes it a bridge for thousands of migrants who expose themselves to every danger as they travel through the country on a train called “The Beast.” That’s where they meet the Patronas, a group of Mexican women who, every day since 1995, make food and toss it to the helpless as the train rushes by. This documentary is an intimate approach, a personal diary that draws a border between the life they were given and the life they chose. In the midst of a country at war, in a world where all hope seems lost, the Patronas breathe life into a human value that seems to be fading with each day: love for one another.
(Maldito sea tu nombre, Libertad, Vladimir Ceballos, Cuba/USA, 1995, 60 min.)
Between 1989 and 1995 over a hundred young Cubans willingly contracted HIV by injecting themselves with each other’s blood. This was an act of political suicide, a protest against a regime that oppressed them with systematic police brutality and dogmatic ideology. What do statistics mean? What does it do to be “out of the statistics?” You are out of history. You literally don’t count. You are an “odd ball.” You are better out of the “public” record. Of the general memory. Of the field of experience.
‘NYC INDIE FILM FESTIVAL 2016’
April 27 – May 1 Various Venues WebsiteMIGRANT CROSSING (Hauke Lorenz, Germany, 2015, 62 min.) A documentary about men, women and children fleeing the extremely dangerous conditions in their home countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. On the journey, they put themselves at risk of encountering many life-threatening dangers. Just past the Southern Mexican border, they find a shelter with people who want to help them survive the martyrdom of the minimum 1,700 kilometer trip toward the USA. Wednesday, April 27, 12pm
A TALE WITH CHRIST AND JESUS (Oldren Romero, Cuba, 2015, 30 min.) Christ is a lonely young man who has not overcome the loss of his mother and the memories of a violent childhood full of abuse. Jesus student who still lives with his parents, with an intolerant overprotective mother and very different to Christ’s past.
ISLE OF FLOWERS
‘LATIN AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY SCREENINGS: DISCUSSIONS OF SPACE’
Wednesday, April 27, 7pm New School University Center, Room UL105Website (Illha das flores, Jorge Furtado, 1989, 13 min. In English)
Sardonic ‘educational’ treatise on the food chain, consumerism, injustice, and how free markets operate. A spoiled tomato discarded by a middle-class housewife is tracked from a tomato farm to the slop fed to pigs on the Ilha das Flores, where the garbage not good enough for pigs is given to the landless poor in strictly controlled 5-minute intervals.
Deseos / رغبات (Desires), which features a trans-historical correspondence between two women – Martina, who lived in Colombia during the late colonial period of the early 19th century and was tried for being a ‘hermaphrodite,’ and Nour, a woman from Beirut during the late Ottoman Empire who marries her female lover’s brother in an attempt to save her love. The film poetically exposes the ways in which the categories of gender and sexuality were dutifully constructed by scientific, legal, and religious discourses. Deseos / رغبات was co-written by Motta and Lebanese anthropologist Maya Mikdashi.
(Boi Neon, Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil/Uruguay, 2015, 101 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)
Wild, sensual and utterly transporting, Brazilian writer-director Gabriel Mascaro’s second fiction feature unfolds within the world of the vaquejada, a traditional exhibition sport in which cowboys try to pull bulls to the ground by their tails. Neon Bull explores the vaquejada through the eyes of Iremar (Juliano Cazarre), a handsome cowboy who works the events. While he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, Iremar’s real dream is to design exotic outfits for dancers.
(Guillermo Arriaga, Stephan Elliott, Im Sang-soo, Nadine Labaki, Fernando Meirelles, José Padilha, Carlos Saldanha, Paolo Sorrentino, John Turturro, Andrucha Waddington, Brazil, 2014, 109 min. In Portuguese and English.)
The third episode of the Cities of Love franchise, Rio, I Love You is an anthology, created by 10 visionary directors from across the globe. The story line of each segment focuses on an encounter of love in a different neighborhood of the city, demonstrating the distinctive qualities and character of that location. The film serves to bridge gaps between cultures, entertaining the audience, while celebrating unique and universal expressions of love.
(German Kral, USA, 2015, 85 min. Spanish with English subtitles.)
Executive produced by Oscar nominee Wim Wenders (Pina), Our Last Tango tells the life and love story of Argentina’s most famous tango dancers Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, who met as teenagers and danced together for nearly fifty years until a painful separation tore them apart. Relaying their story to a group of young tango dancers and choreographers from Buenos Aires, their story of love, hatred and passion is transformed into unforgettable tango-choreographies.
Directed by Mexican filmmaker Patricia Riggen, the film follows Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers) who lives with a rare, incurable disorder that leaves her unable to digest food. Despite the dire diagnosis, devoted mom Christy (Jennifer Garner) relentlessly searches for a way to save her beloved daughter. Everything changes in an instant when Anna tells an amazing story of a visit to heaven after surviving a headlong tumble into a tree. Her family and doctors become even more baffled when the young girl begins to show signs of recovering from her fatal condition.
ACTOR MARTINEZ (Nathan Silver, Mike Ott, USA, 2016, 75 min. In English) Lacking exciting-enough thespian work in his home town of Denver, computer repairman and aspiring actor Arthur Martinez decides to hire indie directors Mike Ott (Pearblossom Hwy, Lake Los Angeles) and Nathan Silver (Uncertain Terms, Stinking Heaven) to document his life, and consequently become the star of a feature film. However, as the project evolves, the directors’ and Arthur’s vision increasingly differ. It becomes clear that watching Arthur perform tai chi, mingle with the local Denver theater community, and drive around town, will not provide enough drama to sustain a feature as Arthur might think. Actor Martinez explores the distinction between performance and life, and the relationship between subject and director. Directors Ott and Silver become characters in the film; as they wrestle with Arthur for control of the project it becomes less clear who is manipulating whom. When the woman cast to play the love interest, Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher, Come Down Molly, First Winter) arrives on set, the very nature of the project is questioned. Friday, April 22, 5pm, Regal Cinemas Battery Park 11-3
CALIFÓRNIA (Marina Person, Brazil, 2015, 91 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles) The year is 1984, and Brazil is on the cusp of massive political change. Estela is a high school woman preparing to travel to California to visit her uncle, who is a music journalist and pop-culture connoisseur. She focuses on keeping up her grades to go on her trip while navigating romance, sex and social pressures. But when Estela’s uncle suddenly returns to Brazil sickly thin and pale, intending to get his things in order, the family’s quiet mourning hints at the nascent AIDS epidemic of the ’80s. Friday, April 22, 7:15pm, Regal Cinemas Battery Park 11-7
THE BOXER (El Púgil, Angel Manuel Soto, Puerto Rico, 2016, 16 min.) El Púgil (The Boxer) narrates the rags to riches story of the super feather underdog Angel ‘Tito’ Acosta, ‘El Púgil,’ a young Puerto Rican boxer from the slums of Barrio Obrero, Puerto Rico, and his ordeal to becoming World Champion. Saturday, April 23, 11:45am, Regal Cinemas Battery Park 11-10
MADLY (Gael García Bernal, Mia Wasikowska, Sebastian Silva, Anurag Kashyap, Sion Sono, Natasha Khan, USA/UK/ India/Australia Argentina/Japan, 2016, 106 min. In English, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish with English subtitles) Madly explores love in all its permutations in six short films from a vibrant group of filmmakers representing Japan, Argentina, the UK, the US, India, and Australia. All forms of love are on display in this anthology. And all manners of feelings expressed from jubilance to depression are done so strongly. In Afterbirth, actress Mia Wasikowska goes behind the camera to tell the story of a young mother’s postpartum struggles; Gael García Bernal explores how pregnancy affects one couple’s already ambivalent relationship in Love of My Life; and ghosts of past relationships are resurrected in Natasha Khan’s I Do. These stories of love never shy away from taboo either: Sion Sono’s Love of Love delves into underground sex clubs in Japan, and Anurag Kashyap’s Clean Shaven uncovers the social relevance of a woman’s pubic hair. Love can even be delightfully irreverent at moments, Dance Dance Dance from Sebastian Silva features an eye-roll from Jesus. Madly, after all, is a contemporary portrait of love in all its glorious, sad, ecstatic, empowering, and erotic manifestations. Saturday, April 23, 12:45pm, Regal Cinemas Battery Park 11-11
PELÉ: BIRTH OF A LEGEND (Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist, 2016, 107 min. In English) From the slums of Brazil to center stage at the world’s biggest sporting event, Pelé’s rise to become the youngest-ever World Cup winner, at the age of 17, was nothing short of a miracle. Full of laughs, life lessons, and heart, this inspiring biopic is perfect for introducing a new generation to the greatest soccer player of all time. Saturday, April 23, 3pm, JZT at BMCC
MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART (Cecilia Aldarondo, USA/Puerto Rico, 2016, 74 min.) Like many gay men in the 1980s, Miguel moved from Puerto Rico to New York City; he found a career in theater and a rewarding relationship. Yet, on his deathbed he grappled to reconcile his homosexuality with his Catholic upbringing. Now, decades after his death, his niece Cecilia locates Miguel’s estranged lover to understand the truth, and in the process opens up long-dormant family secrets. Saturday, April 23, 5pm, Regal Cinemas Battery Park 11-3
SHOOTING AN ELEPHANT (Juan Pablo Rothie, USA/UK/Nepal/Venezuela, 2015, 11 min.) Adapted from George Orwell’s autobiography—a young British imperial policeman in Burma is given the no-win mission of handling a rogue work elephant, only to find that the role he is destined to play is that of public executioner. Saturday, April 23, 8:30pm, Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 8
ICAROS: A VISION (Leonor Caraballo and Matteo Norzi, Peru/USA, 91 min. In English with Spanish subtitles) An American woman in search of a miracle embarks on an adventure in the Peruvian Amazon. At a healing center, she finds hope in the form of an ancient psychedelic plant known as ayahuasca. With her perception forever altered, she bonds with a young indigenous shaman who is treating a group of psychonauts seeking transcendence, companionship, and the secrets of life and death. Sunday, April 24, 3:45pm, Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 5
BETWEEN US (Rafael Palacio Illingworth, USA, 2016, 95 min.) Stalled in a long-term committed relationship that seems to be going nowhere, Dianne (Olivia Thirlby) and Henry (Ben Feldman) feel pressure to marry, abandon their bohemian lifestyle in Los Angeles and move to the burbs. As the nuptials approach, both feel the temptation to stray, setting in motion a series of cataclysmic events. Separately, they treat themselves to a night on the town, discovering that they are capable of surprising things—good and bad. Saturday, April 23, 8:30pm, Sunday, April 24, 9:15pm, Regal Cinemas Battery Park
‘BEATRIZ SANTIAGO MUÑOZ: SONG, STRATEGY, SIGN’
On View Through June 12 New MuseumWebsiteBeatriz Santiago Muñoz’s (b. 1972, San Juan, Puerto Rico) projects grapple with the slippery distinctions between ethnography, fiction, and documentary film and examine the symbolic and material histories of the communities she observes with her camera. Her residency and exhibition at the New Museum will be presented in the Fifth Floor gallery as part of the Education and Public Engagement Department’s R&D Season: LEGACY, and will explore the ways in which our connections to the past are actively produced, maintained, and refuted. In this exhibition, she will premiere a new body of work, including a series of 16mm portraits of anthropologists, activists, and artists working in Haiti and Puerto Rico. Santiago Muñoz’s films capture the aspirations and imagined futures of those who are deeply invested in alternative models of being, using them as allegories for larger political possibilities in the region.
(Paddy Breathnach, Ireland, 2015, 100 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Viva stars Héctor Medina as Jesus, a young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub that showcases drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama (Luis Alberto García), Jesus finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when his estranged father Angel (Jorge Perugorría) abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, VIVA becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and reconcile as a family. Viva was a hit at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival, and is Ireland’s entry for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award this year.
The first Hollywood film to shoot on location in Cuba since the 1959 revolution, Papa: Hemingway in Cuba is the true-life story of a young journalist who finds a father figure in legendary author Ernest Hemingway. Their relationship began in the late 1950’s when Ed Myers, then a junior reporter at The Miami Herald, wrote a fan letter to his idol. Myers thought he was being pranked when the larger than life Hemingway phoned the newsroom a week later, inviting him to Havana. Hidden away at his private estate with his wife Mary, the elusive author mentors Myers in fishing, drinking, and finding his voice while the Cuban Revolution boils up around them. In this turbulent landscape, observing an icon in his twilight years, Myers discovers his strength while recognizing that all of our heroes are human.
PURA SANGRE (Luis Ospina, Colombia, 1982, 98 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Pura Sangre follows a trio of health aides to a dying sugar magnate named Don Roberto (Gilberto Fly Forero), who find themselves blackmailed into abducting and murdering children for the purposes of keeping him alive, one blood transfusion at a time. Saturday, April 23, 7:30pm
UN TIGRE DE PAPEL (Luis Ospina, Colombia, 2008, 112 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) Un tigre de papel follows the trajectory of Pedro Manrique Figueroa, an author and nadaisto who becomes a phantom fixture of Ospinas 20th century, guided by his pacifist conscience across cultural sluices of the left. Not unlike Leonard Zelig, Figueroa (or PMF as termed by the film) manages to vanish and reappear at exactly the right time – a perfect ideological foot soldier with nothing to lose, losing and gaining identity wherever he goes. Wednesday, April 27, 7:30pm
LA CAMIONETA: THE JOURNEY OF ONE AMERICAN SCHOOL BUS (Mark Kendall, 2012, 55 min.) Every day dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States on a southward migration that carries them to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and resurrected as the brightly-colored camionetas that bring the vast majority of Guatemalans to work each day. Since 2006, nearly 1,000 camioneta drivers and fare-collectors have been murdered for either refusing or being unable to pay the extortion money demanded by local Guatemalan gangs. La Camioneta follows one such bus on its transformative journey: a journey between North and South, between life and death, and through an unfolding collection of moments, people, and places that serve to quietly remind us of the interconnected worlds in which we live.
THE FLIGHT OF THE FALCON (El vuelo de Azacuan, Rafael González, 2012, 52 min.) High above the villages in western Guatemala lays a mountain range with elevations reaching 12,000 feet. The indigenous people there call the mountain Cuchumatan, which in one of the Mayan languages spoken in the region, means united by force. The landscape there is mystical, even hypnotic. The elders live close to the land, in typically harsh conditions, while some younger residents dream about going to El Norte in search of a better life. Gonzalez takes us into this hidden part of Guatemala in order to capture the story of Chib’al, a practice in which the villagers, during the annual southward migration of falcons, cleverly trap the travelling birds which they then use for food during the cold winter months. Gonzalez juxtaposes this migratory theme with the voices of the villagers who want to go to the U.S. to secure a better future. The intersecting story of migratory birds and migratory humans brings to mind the risks of leaving one’s land behind for another. Q&A with Rafael González via Skype
UNDER THE CLOUDS
Wednesday, April 27, 6pm King Juan Carlos I Center
(Das Nuvens pra Baixo, Marco Antonio Gonçalves & Eliska Altmann, Brazil, 2016, 100 min. Portuguese with English subtitles)
In 1961, for the first time in Brazil’s history, a woman, Carolina Maria de Jesus, living in a slum in São Paulo, writes about her daily life and has her diary published. Fifty years later the directors of the film, inspired by this diary, go to look for characters that somehow dialogue with Carolina. In the slum Complexo da Maré, in Rio de Janeiro, five women reveal different experiences and visions of their life in the slum, thus creating continuities and discontinuities with the poetic and critical vision of life expressed by Carolina de Jesus.
‘DRIFT: CAO GUIMARÃES’
On View Through Friday, April 29 Nara Roesler Gallery
Cao Guimarães´s first solo exhibition in New York at Galeria Nara Roesler is curated by Moacir dos Anjos, and consist of 8 very rarely seen films by Guimaraes, focusing on a body of work that centers around children and the elderly. Films such as Da janela do meu quarto / From the Window of my Room (2004) and Peiote / Peyote, (2007), portray childhood as a time when one ignores the norms and boundaries that govern bodies in the adult world. Situations, devoid of rules of conduct and full of uncertainty about how to proceed, suggests childhood as a time in life when all futures are possible. On the other hand, in films such as Reza / Prayer (2016) and Lero lero / Chit Chat (2016), the artist sets his sights on those whose lives have spanned several decades. These people have certainly let go of the plans they once had, and instead focus their attention on the moments of their lives they still enjoy.
Thirty years ago, South Williamsburg was known as “Los Sures,” a place imbued with vibrant life, a community of close-knit Puerto Rican and Dominican families living amidst everyday economic struggle. Today, with the neighborhood fully gentrified, it feels vital to remember this lost world, and Diego Echeverria’s essential documentary, shot in the early eighties on 16mm, brings it all back to life, through the eyes of five different residents. Rediscovered in 2007, the film has become a cornerstone program of the Williamsburg arts nonprofit UnionDocs, which not only restored the film but in 2010 began the “Living Los Sures” historical memory project, an expansive documentary project about the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Screening with: OF MEMORY & LOS SURES (Andrew Parsons & Laurie Sumiye, 2011, 14 mins.) A hybrid animated documentary film directed and produced by Andrew Parsons & Laurie Sumiye featuring oral histories of longtime residents of Los Sures. Voices of longtime residents are juxtaposed with images suggesting a recently disappearing past.
(Enrique Begne, Mexico/USA, 2016, 101 min. In Spanish and English with English subtitles)
After being released from prison, former Mexican cop Garza seeks revenge on Santos. Santos has kidnapped Garza’s girlfriend and framed him for a crime he didn’t commit. In his crusade for vengeance, Garza also tracks down an accountant responsible for stealing $10 million dollars from Santos. He is shocked to find that the infamous accountant is a 17 year old American computer hacker named Vic. Despite an immediate disdain for each other, these two divided by culture, language and age, realize that Garza’s low tech brain and Vic’s high tech hacker skills may be their only chance at finding Santos before he finds them.
(El abrazo de la serpiente, Ciro Guerra, Colombia/ Venezuela/Argentina, 2015, 125 min. In Spanish and Amazonian Tribal Languages with English subtitles)
At once blistering and poetic, the ravages of colonialism cast a dark shadow over the South American landscape in Embrace of the Serpent, the third feature by Ciro Guerra and the first Colombian film to ever get nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, Embrace of the Serpent centers on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers (Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evan Schultes) who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant.