Fri 07 October
|Time||7:30 PM - 9:30 PM|
Director: Margot Benacerraf (Venezuela, 1959)
Certification: 15 | 1 h 30 min | Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Hailed as a landmark work of Latin American feminist cinema, also the only feature film by pioneering documentarian Margot Benacerraf, Araya is a poetic, visually arresting look at life on Venezuela’s Araya Peninsula, where generations of labourers have depended on mining the arid region’s salt pans for their livelihood. With industrial mechanization threatening to eradicate this difficult way of life, Benacerraf takes a final glance at the dayto-day routines of three families of salineros, capturing the strain of their work amidst the breathtaking but harsh landscape. From the salt miners to the fishermen who feed them, the film is a captivating, unsentimental tribute to the tenacity of their spirits.
Despite the win that it picked up at of the International Critics Prize at Cannes 1959, 18 years passed before the film was screened in Venezuela as its distributors remained convinced that ‘Venezuela was not ready’ for it and prioritized audiences in France and other markets. By the time terms were finally agreed, Benacerraf insisted that it be dubbed over in Spanish for the audience. The film was embraced by artists and general audiences across the country, but eventually disappeared into a cultural black hole until it was recently rediscovered, remastered and reissued by Milestone Film & Video. The restoration also enabled the reconstruction of a scene which had been cut out of the negative by mistake decades ago without Benacerraf’s knowledge.
Special event with introduction and traditional food by film curator Lorena Pino Montilla.
“Majestic…Arresting…Overwhelming beauty!” – New Yorker Magazine
Presented as part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour, a Watershed project in collaboration with Black Cinema Project, Ajabu Ajabu and Hyde Park Picturehouse with support from BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery and MUBI.
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