Date: Wednesday 27 March
Venue: ICA, Cinema One
Fausto, Dir. Andrea Bussmann, Mexico-Canada, 2018, DCP, 70 min., Spanish with English subtitles
ante mis ojos (Before My Eyes), Dir. Lina Rodriguez, Colombia-Canada, 2018, DCP, 7 min., Spanish with English subtitles.
This enthralling ethnographic essay film explores local stories and myths in Oaxaca, Mexico, as a contemporary reinterpretation of the Faust legend. The film , came about when its director, Andrea Bussmann, was on a beach holiday in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, with her partner, the Mexican filmmaker Nicolás Pereda, with whom she has co-directed one feature. His present of a Sony A7S, a camera which can operate in low lighting conditions, set Bussmann on the trail of local stories and myths, which she connects with wider themes to do with technology, perception and the self. Like many an essay film there’s a first-person narrator, although clearly unreliable, adding another element of slipperiness to an already layered and complex film that takes as its starting-point the Faust legend in relation to colonialism. It’s incredible what Bussman is able to conjure with such minimal means; apart from all the head-spinning ideas, it’s also a magically sensuous evocation of this stretch of coast, populated by larger-than-life figures who emerge in a series of atmospheric, mysterious night scenes.
Shot on grainy, amber-like Super 8, Lina Rodriguez’s elusive and evocative ante mis ojos (Before My Eyes) offers a fragmentary glimpse of Colombia’s mythic Lake Guatavita, long considered the inspiration for the legend of El Dorado.