John Berger or
The Art of Looking
A Film by Cordelia Dvorák
Art, politics and motorcycles: on the occasion of his 90th birthday, John Berger of The Art of Looking is an intimate portrait of the writer and art-critic whose groundbreaking insights on seeing have shaped us for already five decades. His four-part BBC series Ways of Seeing opened a whole generation’s eyes. Working on an astonishing range of topics and art-forms, he never lost his belief and lifelong interest in dialogues which over decades created the most unusual artistic collaborations. Realized as a portrait in works and collaborations, this creative documentary takes a different approach to biography, where John Berger leads us in his favorite role as the storyteller through his ways of seeing of today.
A Film by Hatuey Viveros Lavielle
|Jorge is preparing to graduate from law school-the first person from his mountain village in Mexico ever to do so. Chayo, his pregnant 16-year-old sister, faces the most difficult decision of her young life. Meanwhile their quiet and methodical mother, Tere, does her best to support them both, selling handmade napkin holders for 15 pesos (about $1) apiece.
Café is a carefully observed and intimate documentary that follows the family during the crucial year following the death of Chayo and Jorge’s father, Antonio. Director and cinematographer Hatuey Viveros’ careful eye highlights the almost ritualistic daily moments marking life in the indigenous village of Quetzalan: sorting coffee beans; roasting coffee in a dented pan; flipping tortillas over an open fire; feeding the turkeys that will serve as dinner during the ritual marking the first anniversary of Antonio’s death.
Viveros succeeds in making his camera seemingly invisible to the subjects of this remarkable film. Whether we are accompanying Jorge in one of his first cases as a lawyer‐helping a woman who has been coerced into taking out a loan on behalf of her employer, or listening to Tere and Chayo discussing her going to the city to seek an abortion – Café fully immerses in the lives of its protagonists as they struggle to move forward following personal tragedy.
This September we are bringing you dispatches from the 1990s filmmaking underground, the documentaries of a legendary Chilean master, and much more!
Read our blog metafilm for more details and the full lineup.