October 2019

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6:30 pm : La Guajira & Los Desarraigados

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Artists' Television Access

La Guajira (Calogero Salvo, 1984), 58 minutes

2019 has given moviegoers at least two new cinematic representations of the Wayúu people indigenous to La Guajira, the northernmost peninsula of South America, jutting out from Venezuela and Colombia into the Caribbean Sea. Ciro Guerra & Cristina Gallego’s intergenerational epic Birds of Passage had a theatrical release this Spring, followed by the San Francisco International Film Festival selection Lapü, a poetic documentary about a “second burial” held in a traditional community.
If you saw, or missed, either of these recent features, you have another chance to immerse in the Wayúu culture and the striking landscape where they’ve abided since long before Europeans visited this Hemisphere. Made by a Venezuelan-born filmmaker who graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, La Guajira is a beautiful work of collective portraiture made without voiceover narration or other obvious filmmaker intervention, in the spirit of non-fiction pioneers like Richard Leacock and D.A. Pennebaker. Traditional music and crafts of all kinds are infused throughout a depiction of a people whose lives interweave with the natural world in ways many of us may be unfamiliar with.


Los Desarraigados a.k.a. The Uprooted (Francisco X. Camplis, 1974), 13 minutes.

A typical San Francisco day interrupted. Filmed in Mission District and Potrero Hill by one of the founders of the non-profit arts space Galería de la Raza, Los Desarraigados imagines a raid on an Anglo-run, Mexican-American-staffed factory by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the predecessor to modern-day ICE. Because the images shown may be triggering for some viewers, we will screen this film second in the program.