With this special program, FICCI 57 will be a harbor and a bridge for the cinemas of the Caribbean
The 57th edition of the International Cartagena Film Festival – FICCI- presents a program that seeks to be a bridge and haven for cultural exchange in the Caribbean region. The Caribbean has been hosting FICCI every year, imbuing it with its charm, cultural diversity, contradictions, and multiple and rich narratives. This special program, CARIBBEAN CINEMAS: VISIONS OF RUIN, THE SUBMERGED AND THE EMERGING, will present a landscape of productions made in different countries in which the Caribbean is much more than a geographical or cultural area, it has become a multilayered, extraterritorial and universal experience.
CARIBBEAN CINEMAS: VISIONS OF RUIN, THE SUBMERGED AND THE EMERGING was curated by Francisco J. Hernandez Adrian, the director of the masters program in Visual Arts and Culture at the Center for Visual Arts and Culture of the University of Durham, England who holds a doctorate from New York University (NYU). Hernandez has focused his research on insular and Caribbean cultures. This program will bring viewers closer to the conflicting imaginaries and narratives that characterize the Caribbean, both through experiences and cultural thinking: island/ continent; inside/ outside; plantation/ port city; insular experience/ cosmopolitan vision; tourist paradise/ sociocultural hell; tropical cabaret/ sociopolitical rigidity. A Caribbean scarred by its contact, at times tragic or oppressive, with the earth, the sea and the air.
FICCI is the Caribbean's own celebration, as it carries in its essence the culture of this region which has expanded throughout the world. Although it is hosted by the city of Cartagena, it embraces the richness of the Caribbean, in which nature is both a nurturing force, but also one that can furiously destroy everything within its wake; it can lead to ruins, and sink realities, but it has also been witness to a complex social and political history of racial mixtures, migrations, dictatorships and revolutions. Witness to an intense mobility and a permanent stillness. Multiple stories and universes that merge, material poverty, the endless creativity of its people, and many other realities, coexist in the Caribbean.
This program will feature eight productions, as diverse as this region. The Cuban and Latin American classic Memorias del Subdesarrollo [Memories of Underdevelopment] (1968) by Tomás Gutierrez Alea, which will be screened in its restored version, presents an ironic and lucid view on Cuban society and the revolutionary energy of the 60s from the perspective of an isolated bourgeois. Caballos [Horses] (Cuba, in 2015), Fabian Suarez's opera prima, revisits the historical and aesthetic experience of Gutiérrez Alea's masterpiece from a new perspective.
To broaden the landscape and the discussion on the Caribbean today, three recent productions will be screened: Meurtre à Pacot [Murder at Pacot, 2014] by Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck, in which a man attempts to reinvent his life after the great earthquake that shocked the country; Beira-Mar (Seashore, Brazil, 2015) by Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon is a coming-of-age film that follows the amorous exploration of two youths; and the Mexican documentary Ruinas tu reino [Ruins your realm, 2016] by Pablo Escoto, which follows a group of fishermen as they go on a round trip through the Gulf of Mexico.
Additionally, the program will feature the Dominican documentary Jeffrey (Dominican republic and France, 2016) by Yanillys Pérez, which talks about the harsh realities of child poverty. Also, from the Colombian Caribbean, the film Keyla (2016), directed by Viviana Gómez Echeverry will have its world premiere. The movie was filmed in the island of Providencia, seen from the perspective of an adolescent and feminine universe of losses and re-encounters.
Finally, and giving way to a suggestive insular counterpoint, this program will also feature the award-winning Taiwanese film Stray Dogs (2013), which tells the story of an alcoholic father and his two children as they try to improve their lives in an environment that goes from forests and rivers to the streets of a city devastated by capitalism.