Screens as part of Open City Documentary Festival 2021: New works by Argentine-British artist filmmaker Jessica Sarah Rinland and Colombian filmmaker and cinematographer Pablo Álvarez Mesa.
Sol de Campinas
Jessica Sarah Rinland | 2021 | Brazil | 26’
Sol de Campinas observes a team of archaeologists as they excavate a ring of mounds within a territory currently known as the State of Acre, Brazil. They have been working at the site for the past ten years and are trying to uncover artifacts from an indigenous people who once occupied the land. Jessica Sarah Rinland examines the processes of excavation through detailed 16mm images of the archaeologists at work. Moving between the field and the lab, Rinland constructs an intimate study of the site today whilst an image of its history also starts to emerge.
Pablo Álvarez Mesa | 2021 | Colombia, Canada | 43’
Invoking the spirit of Simón Bolívar, Bicentenario is an essayistic travelogue that sets out to critique and complicate his legacy. This is done through a careful and specific retracing of his liberation journey at a moment when villages and towns across Colombia are celebrating the 200-year anniversary of the War of Independence of 1819. Shot on 16mm, the camera focuses upon scenes of parades, marching bands and military re-enactments, resting upon monuments
that offer up nationalistic statues and slogans that celebrate Bolívar, the liberator. Synthesised to this historical journey is a violent and traumatic event from Colombia’s recent past – the Siege of the Palace of Justice – in which the State stormed the country’s supreme court after the building was taken over by members of the guerrilla group, M-19. Using this event to bookend the film, Pablo Álvarez Mesa reflects on a doctrine of nationalistic fervour and violence that remains tied to the symbol of Bolívar throughout Colombia.