A deep, heartfelt thank you to everyone who is out there protesting, donating, and actively working to dismantle our system of racism and oppression. OVID hopes their films, which have a progressive bent, support you on your journey, whether you need inspiration or to re-examine your beliefs. In this spirit, they’ve curated a collection on Black Lives.
This week’s releases include Denis Côté’s beguiling BESTIAIRE, which is a meditation on the relationship between man and beast. Variety calls it a “haunting mix of curiosity and compassion.”
They also have new award-winning titles from Cinema Tropical—the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the U.S. These include AWAY FROM MEANING, STILL BURN, and TU Y YO.
Cinema Tropical’s Co-Founder Carlos Gutiérrez has also hand-picked a selection of their top picks on OVID. You can watch his curatorial statement and explore the collection here.
Read on for more details:
Directed by Denis Côté; KimStim, Documentary
Fascinating and beguiling, BESTIAIRE is Denis Côté’s mesmerizing meditation on the relationship between man and beast. This strikingly beautiful film about looking-starts with a group of art students attempting to sketch an animal-that blurs the line between observer and observed. There may be no traditional narrative, yet there is breathtaking dramatic tension in every exquisitely framed shot: the sight of a lion attacking the doors of its cage or the scurrying striped legs of zebras in a holding pen. Contemplative and enthralling, BESTIAIRE is cinema at its purest.
Away from Meaning
Directed by Olivia Luengas; Cinema Tropical, Documentary
When Liliana was three years old, she suffered from viral encephalitis. As a consequence, she began to experience borderline personality disorder years later. Along with her family, she devotes herself to managing and coping with emotional instability that has led to frequent hospitalizations following various suicide attempts. Now facing the threat of another relapse without the option of hospitalization due to closures, she and her parents must face a new treatment scheme from home.
Awarded the Best Documentary Prize at the Havana Film Festival New York, this deeply personal family love story directed by Liliana’s sister, Olivia, is a poignant meditation about normality and stigma attached to mental illnesses and a portrait of Liliana’s inner world, where her emotions take form.
Directed by Mauricio Alfredo Ovando; Cinema Tropical, Documentary
Alfredo Ovando Candia was a military general who served as co-president of Bolivia from 1965–66 (and again from 1969–70) after overthrowing President Víctor Paz Estenssoro. His political and military service connect him to the largest massacre of workers in the country’s history, as well as the military campaign in which Che Guevara was found and killed. Incorporating archival footage from Ovando’s de facto administration, home movies, and interviews with relatives, filmmaker-grandson Mauricio Alfredo Ovando’s debut feature studies the many profiles of his grandfather to juxtapose his family’s fond memories with the harsh official history.
Winner of the Best Director and FIPRESCI awards at the 2018 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Still Burn is a courageous, perceptive documentary about how collective and personal memories are created from—and ultimately shape—a complicated legacy.
Tú y Yo
Directed by Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada; Cinema Tropical, Narrative
The Mrs., an elderly widow, and Aridia, a young maid, live together in a house filled with orchids in the center of Santo Domingo. Aridia cleans, the Mrs. gardens, and when work is slow they share gossip. But sometimes the atmosphere gets tense: the Mrs. wakes up grumpy, she blames Aridia, and when Aridia tries to defend herself the Mrs. has to remind her “where her place is.” Then as the hours pass by a telenovela begins on TV, or something happens in the neighborhood, and the Mrs. and Aridia become close again, ending the day by sharing a few laughs.
Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Cartagena Film Festival and acclaimed at Visions du Réel, the debut feature by Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada is a poignant chamber piece that delves deeply into divisions of class and race.