The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Dólares de Arena
2014, Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán, Dominican Republic, 84 min. With Geraldine Chaplin, Yanet Mojica.
"An artful and slyly political example of contemporary art cinema informed by the ethos of the New Wave." — Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times
A young Dominican woman (Mojica) blithely sells her favors to the foreign tourists and expatriates at a beach resort, but things become more complicated with the elderly Frenchwoman (Chaplin) who has fallen in love with her. Many of the films in NO BORDERS inevitably touch or focus on encounters: between different classes, genders, races, sexualities, nationalities, and so on. Sand Dollars is premised on a monetized version of encounter—tourism (and perhaps “sex tourism,” depending on one’s perspective)—that defines Caribbean economies. To better understand Cárdenas and Guzmán’s politics of intimacy, we will compare their film with Third Cinema’s conception of tourism in Mikhail Kalatozov’s I AM CUBA (1964) as well as related examples. In Spanish, French, and English with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (Daniel R. Quiles)
2003, Fernando Pérez Valdes, Cuba, 85 min.
"What’s so rich about this work is its meticulously complete picture of a city caught between decay and reconstruction." — Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
This semi-documentary collage of Havana tracks ten individuals over the course of a single day. Contemporary Cuba has been defined by the “Special Period in Peacetime,” which began in 1989 with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its economic support. HAVANA SUITE is not strictly a documentary, but it nonetheless offers rapturous images of a desiccated capital nearly forty years on from the Embargo. We will review the history of the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos, or ICAIC, the heart of the country’s state-funded film industry, and consider Pérez Valdes’s approach in comparison with Revolutionary Cuban cinema’s oscillation between propaganda and nuanced expression in Santiago Álvarez’s shorts, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT (1968), and contemporary examples such as Ernesto Daranas’ CONDUCTA (2014). In Spanish with English subtitles. 35mm. (Daniel R. Quiles)