Interview with Bill Nichols

Transcribed by January J. Coleman-Jones and Jake Nevrla

 

Bill Nichols is one of the most influential historians and theorists of documentary film. He is widely cited in articles across the world. Some of his most important works are: Ideology and the image: social representation in the cinema and other media (Bloomington Indiana University Press, 1981), Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary (Indiana University Press, 1991), Blurred Boundaries (Indiana University Press, 1994) and Introduction to Documentary (Indiana University Press, 2001). He teaches film at San Francisco State University. His enthusiasm for documentary film comes through even in casual conversations and especially during this interview in Tijuana, in the first week of BorDocs, the documentary film forum. 

A few minutes before the interview, Mr. Nichols had given a two-hour master class on the ethical challenges of documentary filmmakers. 

 
Bill Nichos, photo Itzel Martínez del Cañizo


Tomas Crowder-Tarraborreli (TCT): I was reading in your biography that you studied medicine and then chemistry. There is something in your bio that says, “but then I changed my mind.” Can you tell me when, if there is a when, you became interested in documentary film?

Bill Nichols (BN): It began when I was in medical school. I was at Stanford Univeristy back then. There was the medical study, but the program gave you some free time. Really, in medicine nothing is free time, but relatively speaking. It was in the 60’s and there were these European films coming out that were really fascinating: Bergman, Antonioni, Fellini, Godard, and Truffaut. So I saw some of that work and I thought this is not like anything I’ve ever seen before, from growing up watching Hollywood films. It really started my interest and then that percolated slowly for a few years. I decided that I didn’t want to be a doctor, but I wasn’t sure what I did want to be. So I went into the Peace Corps and taught in a school in Kenya for 2 years. I saw about six films in those two years, but I began trying my hand at screenplay writing. So that added to my interest because it didn’t lead to selling anything, but it gave me more of a sense of how films work and that led to going to UCLA and studying film there.


TCT: And in terms of documentary films?

BN: Documentary was similar to discovering the European film, in that it wasn’t Hollywood. I had no complaint with Hollywood, it’s just that it’s what I was used to, so European film was like, “oh my goodness.” And the documentaries in the 60’s, that were about political issues, about Vietnam, about the draft, about liberation struggles, about Cuba, where also like, “oh my God, I didn’t know film could do this,” because I’d never seen anything like it before. I was interested and involved in the politics of the 60’s and 70’s, so it seemed almost natural to begin thinking about documentary, partly because no one was.

TCT: Do you still feel that you are scientifically minded in your approach to your study of documentary film? Do you think that’s a side that you like to explore and talk about, or is it a side that has been left behind by your recent work?

BN: I think we’re always, in some sense, a product of our training; What our parents trained us to do or not to do, and likewise of education. I don’t have any interest in the scientific parts about film, like number of pixels or DI processes and how to develop film with this chemical. I’ve left that behind. But I think the way you think in scientific or medical terms – of formulating hypotheses, trying to be logical – not necessarily in how I write about something, which is like a documentary in that I may want to engage and move the reader so I use descriptive language and I’m not being factual, but that underneath it I think there is a training in thinking carefully and analytically that has helped me.

 
Photo Itzel Martínez del Cañizo

 

TCT: I think a lot of people are curious about your relationship to Latin American documentary film. Can you talk briefly about your relationship to this tradition, if you have one? Do you keep in touch with film directors? Have you seen something particularly moving, formally, that is in your mind when you think about this tradition?

BN: It’s true for fiction as well, that my interests don’t go first to geography so I don’t follow, as a principle, Romanian film or Korean fiction film or Bolivian documentary, but what gets my attention usually are particular works and sometimes retrospectives or filmmaker’s work that gets me more interested in that context. Like Iranian films, when I first saw an Iranian feature film it led me to write about that. Not just as about “here’s some new films,” but how films from one country migrate into the international film festival circuit and how did that happen and why did that happen with Iranian, but not with Bulgarian, or some other nation. I think with documentaries from Europe or Africa or South America or Canada or Asia, the place of origin hasn’t been as important to me as the work itself. And that there have been, as there are with the other regions, Latin American filmmakers that have been of considerable interest: Solanas and Getino some time ago. Patricio Guzmán, more recently, with his films on Chile. I think those, to me, have been very important and very impressive; Eduardo Coutinho in Brazil. I’m an admirer of the work I’ve seen of his. I think there are a number of filmmakers from different places and that is part of what I like about documentary is that I get to learn about places I haven’t been, or don’t know as much as I could, from the films and when they were made… It’s all the better.

TCT: So you don’t think there is “something” that makes a national film tradition unique?

BN: Well, it’s just how I’ve looked at them and particularly more recent work, I think there are schools and traditions. [Alberto] Cavalcanti was very important in forming British and Brazilian film. I think when you look at the beginnings of documentary you can’t ignore the Soviet work of [Dziga] Vertov, the British work under [John] Grierson, the American work with [Pare] Lorentz and others before him and after, and the Canadian Film Board, and that they have certain qualities that are related to the place of origin and I think that’s often true. Mexican documentaries may differ from Chilean or Argentine in ways you could identify. It’s not something I feel is my strength in perusing that particular question. I hope there are people from or engaged with those particular nationals cinemas that would. I know for example Tom Waugh, in Canada follows Indian documentary and writes about it from time to time.

TCT: Can you tell me what your impressions of BorDocs are so far and your experience of being here at the border? Do you think festivals similar to this play an important role in places like a border region?

BN: Oh yes, festivals have grown. They are almost like weeds. In San Francisco, California there is some kind of festival every week. They are not all film, but they are probably 30 film festivals throughout the year, from gay and lesbian, to Native American, to international, to heaven only even knows…there are so many. I think they are a way of keeping a sense of curiosity and contemporaneousness about the medium. Given the way distribution works it is very hard to see the kind of films that get into festivals outside of the festival. The bad part is that there are a lot of films that never live apart from their life in the festival. The good part is if you get to the festivals you will see a range films that you probably would not to see on television and in theaters, at least not as quickly and as richly. I think with documentary, like animation and avant-garde, there are fewer festivals for those than for fiction film festivals and the audience is smaller and it is probably harder to get an audience. The one in Amsterdam, the International Documentary Film [Festival], is the exception probably because it has a big market and people come to trade and buy and sell. There are hundreds and hundreds of films there, sort of like the Cannes of documentary. But most festivals are more to the festive and celebrate the films and not be a market as such, though there is nothing wrong with that, it is just more work and effort to get started that way. So I think somewhere like Tijuana or up north in Mendocino, California, which is a little tiny coastal town, festivals are a way of bringing people together, they are a way of developing greater interest in documentary, they are a way of building a community and getting filmmakers and filmmakers together and people who share this interest together and from those things, those interactions, you never know what will happen and hopefully some good things will happen.

Photo Itzel Martínez del Cañizo

TCT: What do you think has happened with documentary film in the United States in the post-September 11th world? Have you seen a change in the tone, the methodological approaches, formal innovations, political views, or ethics?

BN: It’s a good question. I’ll think about that more, because often I need to pause and step back and think things like you just asked. They are not on the tip of my tongue. Some things that strike me are that there is an increased reliance on and creative use of animation. Not just in the US, like the Green Revolution I was mentioning, Waltz With Bashir and films from the US where it’s part, not as big a part, but a part of the film. For people who get public funding from the government or state of federal government there’s a greater degree of, you could call it either sensitivity or fear, that they may jeopardize their funding if they say or do anything that’s critical of the right wing, the Republicans, because the Republicans have gone after people. They tried to get someone fired at Public Broadcasting System. I think they did resign, in fact, because that person had said something about how hard it was to get the Republicans to fund Public Broadcasting and [the Republicans] didn’t think that was very respectful. There is a new documentary I’m consulting on where they were mentioning American film and it was mentioned how Pare Lorentz’s films in the 30’s lost their funding from the government. And I asked them as consultant, I said, “Wouldn’t it be useful to say who in the government didn’t want money spent on this kind of movie?” And they said, “We can’t do that because it was the Republicans at that time who opposed it and stopped it and that will jeopardize our funding.” I think they could have found a way to do it that would have made the Republicans happy, to say, “We don’t want to support these liberal causes with tax payer money,” and I don’t think that republicans now would object to a statement like that. And I’m sure someone said that back then, if they looked and did more research. And other could think about when governments support filmmaking. It’s a really big question, but my point is that there is an increased sensitivity to enflaming the right wing. Except for the people that want to do that, like Michael Moore and other political filmmakers who want to take on big issues. There are certainly films since 9/11 that have explored the consequences of that and the government’s responses with the Iraq war. Why We Fight, about the military in general. The financial crisis has led to others, some of which are really good. Going back to Enron:The Smartest Guys in the Room, but then The Inside Job, Client Nine: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, which was partly about the financial business. And some of the other things that were pre-9/11 continue, maybe with a little less emphasis in the past, but things that relate to politics of identity, women’s films, gay and lesbian films, minority groups, Native American, the poor, disadvantaged, African Americans, films that address questions that are particular to those groups continues to come out and some are quite good.

TCT: What about for students who do not want to be filmmakers, who just take one of your courses because they saw a documentary film? What can they learn from that process of representing human beings as normal, regular people? Is there something that you think about when you’re teaching a course?

BN: I think on the one hand it’s an element of visual literacy. That people that haven’t had a course may not have thought as much about question like truth. Is what I see on the news true? How is it not true? Or in what way is it shaped? And then things that you become aware of when you’re looking at films in a course, like music. You mean they actually put music in that wasn’t there, is that okay? You start to think about those things more and become more aware and sensitive. That equips the student to look a little more critically at representations of the world, which can be other documentaries later after the course: news, reporting; claims by politicians, scientists, anybody that’s dealing with reality. Similarly, for students who do the documentary course, another thing it does is give them a sense of perspective. Most students come because they have seen a recent film that was impressive. It could be March of the Penguins or Chile, Obstinate Memory. But they don’t know what the history of this idea is and it’s often eye opening to see that a lot of experimentation was happening in the 20’s and 30’s and that there’s debates that go way back about how much do you actively alter what you film and set it up and stage it. Like Triumph of the Will, which appears to be just a document of what happened at a rally for the Nazi Party, until you realize that the filmmaker worked with the Nazi Party leaders to build the arena, to set up the tracking shots, to place the cameras, to the have the speeches given at times of day with good lighting, etc. So that the whole thing is actually closer to a modern political convention, at least in the US, where almost everything is planned and orchestrated, nothing is a surprise, because it’s all been done for the camera. And when you see where this kind of idea comes from you get an idea of a broader perspective of how you look at it.

TCT: You’ve written extensively about discursive categories, narrative exposition, poetics, especially in Ideology and the Image. In the so-called digital age do you think that in your work, that type of close analysis of the film and material, has changed because of the arrival of digital imaging and editing? Do you think that film seems to be loosing its materiality?

BN: Well in the sense that to use the word film is usually misleading now because almost all films are at least in some way digital, if not completely. But we often still call them film. We don’t call it “digits,” or something. But film is a loose term that doesn’t necessarily refer to strips of film anymore. What I think continues is that what makes for a good film is a good story, or a good poetic sense, or a good rhetorical perspective. And those qualities go back at least to the Greeks. They are millennia old. It’s like situational ethics. No one has a formula for how to make a good story that everyone can just take. Otherwise we’d all be Steven Spielberg’s or Errol Morris’s. So what we learn are some basic principles and concepts about what a story is and what makes it work. About what is good rhetoric or oration and what makes it work. How you move people to agree with your point of view. What makes for good poetics and work that has form and shape that people can appreciate. But then it’s up to the individual to do it, and the means by which they do it constantly change. What was available to the early filmmaker, and how they developed film and what stocks and what speeds the film had, were totally different from what it was in the 60s, which seem like a whole other world of possibilities. And jump up another fifty years to now and we have cell phone that make movies. I’ve seen one in Korea made on a cell phone and it’s quite impressive. So I think in looking at a film that’s been made by newer means, some of the close analysis can still pay off. Although it will be in relation to a new media and looking at how they create a rhythm, how they use editing, or how they use sound. That will still be true. But whether its frames that are cut together in the same way, that’s changing. And I think that the even more fundamental questions, that are like the ethical ones: how do you tell a story, how do you move people and persuade them, how do you create form, and how do you live ethically. They don’t change in terms of what basically works now probably worked five centuries ago. But nuance changes and particulars change and we want stories that resonate with issues that are real for us, that we feel are part of our experience. Questions about gender, for example. In a world where what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman has become very complicated in the last thirty years, with transsexuality, with gay and lesbian rights and identities, bisexuality, etc. All those things make it much less obvious what that is. So films that deal with that, fiction or nonfiction, are probably going to speak to a question that is real for many people. Whereas how do you maintain a castle is interesting, but that’s a medieval question. How do you live as a peasant in relation to a lord in a castle? We have modern versions of it but those are the ones that will probably get more interest than the old fashioned ones.

http://vimeo.com/34054554 [Watch the video]


TCT: You don’t strike me as being a nostalgic person, but most people who love film are pretty nostalgic. Do you have any nostalgia for the experience of watching films in the theater from when you were a kid or a teenager?

BN: Yes, some. I’m not nostalgic. I have colleagues who have fought, at every step, changes in technology. When we had video they said, “No, we have to use film.” When we were using digital video then they were saying, “No, we have to use video.” And then when it was online and streaming they said, “No, we have to use it on a DVD.” So I have colleagues that are always one or two or three or five steps behind the technology and I think that’s stupid. Students need to use what’s available, what’s the most efficient what is often the most inexpensive and each will have limitations and problems, but that’s life; it also has advantages. The web has huge advantages, as well as problems. Where I do get nostalgia – as I was saying earlier about how we live our training – I grew up going to movie theaters and I remember being about eleven and going around to where there were workers building houses and collecting empty beer bottles because I could get 5 cents for each bottle and if I got 10 bottles and 50 cents I could pay for a round trip train to the next town and a movie ticket. So I could go to Amnyville and see a movie and come home for 10 beer bottles. And it was in a theater and that was an adventure and something I worked to do and got some money for and took the train and went to the theater. So it is totally different from turning on the TV with a remote control, because you don’t even get up. To this day, when I go to a movie theater to see a movie, it’s like going to a play or a concert, there’s a little feeling of a thrill. I’m going to see people I’m going to be doing something with others, it’s going to be on the big screen and that’s going to be kind of exciting. And then in ten minutes I may be very disappointed and think about leaving (laughs), but I don’t get that little thrill when I go home and watch a DVD or television. I may find it a great movie but that’s another story, that’s where the nostalgia comes in for me.

TCT: Thank you, Mr. Nichols.

To listen to the complete interview go to:

 

 

Media, Politics, and Democratization in Latin America

Media, Politics, and Democratization in Latin America
Edited by: Javier Campo and Tomás Crowder-Taraborrelli
Issue 220 | Volume 45 | Number 3 | May 2018
Table of Contents

This special issue of Latin American Perspectives investigates a matter that has undergone critical transformations in recent years. From the period of progressive governments to the current neoliberal restoration, the media went from being thought of as a public service to a private business. This issue features articles on Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and Argentina and covers a broad disciplinary spectrum of studies: from the laws of communication put into practice or projected, to the deregulation of the most advanced legislations of Latin America, to communication rights, audiovisual analysis, memory studies and historiographies of the Latin American left.

The editors were committed to organizing a special issue about the favorable democratization of the media, but in the process, the media landscape was transformed into a reactionary onslaught of the monopolies of information and communication; a process that ended in the electoral victories of right-wing corporatists.

 

 

 

 

Microphone
Alexander Scott, Outreach Coordinator for Latin American Perspectives, interviews special guest editors Javier Campo and Tomás Crowder-Taraborrelli on the subject of the May 2018 issue: “Media, Politics, and Democratization in Latin America.”
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Podcast is also available in SPANISH!  Listen here. 
 
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Latin American Perspectives, PO Box 5703, Riverside, CA 92517

 

Introduction to Latin American Studies

INTS 130-01 (1608)
Tomás F. Crowder-Taraborrelli
Office hours: Maathai 414, Mondays 10:15 to 11:00 a.m
Class Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.


It is a great pleasure and also a great challenge to teach a course like this. Since the Wars of Independence, Latin America has seen dramatic changes in its political and social identity. The last century has been marked by a never-ending series of coup d’états, often times sponsored by U.S. governments, which have undermined democratic governments and their policies. In spite of this, Latin America has shown resilience and continues to advance a progressive agenda that strives to do away with social inequality. In this course, we will examine the history of the region, paying particular attention to major political changes and their repercussion in popular culture. The course is organized chronologically, but we will always strive to assess how past events mobilize social forces in the present.


Books
Galeano, Eduardo. The Open Veins of Latin America.
New York: Monthly Review Press, 1997.
Chasteen, John Charles, Born in Blood and Fire: A
Concise History of Latin America, 2nd ed., N.Y.; London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2006.

Assignments
There are four types of assignments in this course: a group or individual presentation (based on the assigned discussion topic readings), a mid-term exam and a final argumentative research paper (8 – 10 pages).


Readings
I have organized course readings in two categories: common readings (CR) and assigned readings (AR). All students will have to read Common Readings and students assigned to a particular discussion topic will read CRs and also Discussion Topic Readings. Students are encouraged to read all readings, but I understand that it might not be possible. Since discussion is an essential part of each class, please complete all the readings before class and bring to class a few questions to generate dialogue. Always bring hard copies of the reading to class so you can cite passages and/or page numbers during discussion.


Tentative schedule of Readings and Assignments (Please check our Bright Space course site for more information about the readings)

Week 1
“The Conquest”

Thursday September 8th
Galeano, Eduardo. The Open Veins of Latin America. 1-58 (CR)
Fernandez Retamar, Roberto. “Caliban: A question”. The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays. (375- 378) (CR)

Week 2
Tuesday September 13th
Cabeza de Vaca. Naufragios [selections] (CR)
Moreno Fraginals, M. “The Death of the Forest” (AR)
Chasteen, J. Born in Blood and Fire, Chapter 1 (CR)
Las Casas, Bartolome. In Defense of the Indians. (Selections)
Rodriguez, Silvio. “La maza”. Song [COURSE WEBSITE, April 24, 2018]

Thursday September 15th
Galeano, E. TOVOLA 59-113 (CR)
FILM: La hora de los hornos, dir. Grupo Cine Liberación [first part screened in class] [COURSE WEBSITE, April 23, 2018]

Week 3
The Conquest and Colonialism

TUESDAY September 20th
Galeano, Eduardo. The Open Veins of Latin America. 59-133 (CR)
Mills, Keneth and William B. Taylor. Colonial Spanish America: Chapters 6, 12,15.
FILM: La tierra quema, Dir. Raymundo Gleyzer [COURSE WEBSITE, April 22, 2018]

THURSDAY September 22nd
Chasteen, John Charles. Born in Blood and Fire. Chapter 1 (25-57) (AR)
Manzano, Juan Francisco. “Autobiography of a slave” The Cuba Reader (49-57) (AR)
Cuban Music: “Santa Barbara, Que viva Chango”, Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. [COURSE WEBSITE, April 21, 2018]
Film: Inner Borderlines: Visions of America Through The Eyes of Alejandro Morales, 7 p.m. Pauling 216

Week 4

Independence 

TUESDAY September 27th
Galeano, Eduardo. The Open Veins of Latin America. 113-133 (CR)
Marti, Jose. “Our America” and other selected essays. (CR)
Introd. to Sarmiento’s Life in the Argentine Republic in the Days of the Tyrants(CR)
Chasteen, John Charles. Born in Blood and Fire. Chapter 3, 91-112 (AR)

THURSDAY September 29th
Galeano, Eduardo. The Open Veins of Latin America. 134-170 (CR)
Ortiz, Fernando. “Tobacco and Sugar”. The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays. 
(70-74)
Ortiz, Fernando. “Transculturation”. The Cuba Reader.
Moore, Robin. “Afrocubanismo and Son” (192-200)
Sublette, Ned. Cuba and Its Music. (Available in the library as an electronic text) Recommended reading.
Parra, Violeta. “Easy for singing”, “Dumb, Sad and Thoughtful” (AR)
FILM: Violeta se fue a los cielos, dir. Andres Wood (Chile, 2011) [selection] [COURSE WEBSITE, April 20, 2018]

Week 5

Revolution

TUESDAY October 4th
Skidmore, Thomas E., Peter H. Smith & James N. Green. “Mexico: The Taming of a Revolution”. Modern Latin America. (47-78)
Florescano, Enrique. “The Colonial Latifundio” (CR)


THURSDAY, October 6th
The Mexican Revolution. Selection of readings (Angel): Flores Magon, “Land and Liberty”, Zapata and others, “Plan of Ayala”, Cabrera, “The Restoration of the Ejido” (CR)
Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution (in class writing workshop)
Sosa, Mercedes, “Gracias a la Vida” [COURSE WEBSITE, April 19, 2018]
Yupanqui, Atahualpa. “El Arriero”, Divididos “El Arriero” [COURSE WEBSITE, April 19, 2018]

Week 6

Modernity

TUESDAY October 11th
Skidmore, Thomas E., Peter H. Smith & James N. Green. “Brazil: The Awakening Giant”. (296- 340) CR 
de Andrade, Oswald. “Anthropophagite Manifesto”. The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays. (96-99) (CR)

THURSDAY October 13th
Lispector, Clarice. “Creating Brasilia”. The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays. (331- 334). AR
Buarque, Chico. Construcao. Songs by Caetano Veloso, Jorge Bem [Played and discussed in class, see COURSE WEBSITE, April 18, 2018, for lyrics and music]
Short documentary on Brasilia [sequence screened in class] Brasilia, contradicoes de uma Cidade Nova
dir. Joaquim Pedro, 1967.

Week 7
Tuesday October 18th
FILM Screening: Title to be announced

Thursday October 20th
Readings to be announced

Week 8
Tuesday, October 25th
MIDTERM

Thursday October 27th
Galeano, Eduardo. The Open Veins of Latin America. Chapter 5. 205- 261 (CR)

Research paper topic due!

Week 9
Tuesday, November 1st
Guevara, Che. “Man and Socialism”. (370-374) Cuban Reader (CR)
Chapter X, Social Revolution. Problems in Modern Latin America (CR)
Alvarez, Santiago. Now [short film screened in class] [COURSE WEBSITE April 17, 2018]

Thursday, November 3rd
Espinosa, Julio Garcia Espinosa. “For an Imperfect Cinema”. The Cuba Reader.
Desnoes, Edmundo. “Inconsolable Memories: A Cuban View of the Missile Crises”.
Schwartz, Rosalie . “The Invasion of the tourist”. (244-252)
Class discussion of final research papers

Week 10
Alternative Forms of Government


Tuesday November 8th
Sitrin, Marina. Everyday Revolutions…Chapter 3, “Horizontalidad” (CR)
Zibechi, Raul. Territories in Resistance. Chapter 16 “The Art of Governing Movements” (CR)

Thursday November 10th

Campo, Javier and Tomás Crowder-Taraborrelli. Introduction: Media and Democratization. Unpublished Introduction of a Special Issue of Latin American Perspectives.


Week 11
State Terrorism

Tuesday November 15th
Arditti, Rita. Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared
Children of Argentina
50-78 (CR)
Dinges, John. The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents. 99-125 (CR)
FILM: La batalla de Chile, Dir. Patricio Guzmán [selection] [COURSE WEBSITE, April 16, 2018]

Thursday, November 17th.
Walsh, Roberto. “Carta a la Junta”.
Davis, Jeffrey. “Moving the Process and Proving The Truth”. Seeking Human Rights Justice in Latin America.
FILM: Fernando Ha Vuelto. Dir. Silvio Caiozzi. [COURSE WEBSITE, April 15, 2018]

Week 12
Religion and Liberation


Tuesday November 22nd
Gutiérrez, Gustavo. A Theology of Liberation, “Theology and Liberation” (CR).
Carroll, James. “Who am I to judge…” New Yorker Magazine(“
NewYorkerPopeArticle” on Bright Space)

Thursday November 24th
Reading TBA.


Week 13
Narcoscapes and Narcoculture

Tuesday November 29th
Cabanas, Miguel A. Narcoculture and the Politics of Representation (CR)
FILM: Narco Cultura, dir. Shaul Shwarz (on Netflix, streaming)


Thursday December 1st
Eisenhammer, Stephen. “Bare Life in Ciudad Juarez: Violence in a Space of Exclusion” (AR)
FILM: Señorita Extraviada (selection). [COURSE WEBSITE April 14, 2018]


Week 14
Water Wars


Tuesday December 6th
Dangl, Benjamin. The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia. Chapters 3 and 4 CR)
FILMS: The Corporation and Even the Rain [selections]. [COURSE WEBSITE April 13, 2018]

Thursday December 8th
Oral presentations

15th Week
Tuesday December 13th
Study Day

Thursday December 15th
Oral presentations if needed
Final Research paper due


Bibliography

Ahrens, Jan Martínez. “El peso mexicano sufre la peor caída del planeta por el efecto Trump.” El País, 11 Nov. 2016, elpais.com/economia/2016/11/11/actualidad/1478881241_290530.html.

Benjamin, Jules R. The United States and the Origins of the Cuban Revolution. Princeton University Press, 1992. Print.

Burton, J. “The cameras as ‘gun’: Two decades of culture and resistance in Latin America.” Latin American Perspectives, 1978. Print.

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)’s Constitution of 2009. Oxford University Press, Inc., constituteproject.org.

Cabeza De Vaca, Naufragios de Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. University of California Press, 1993. Print.

Centenera, Mar. “Historias trágicas detrás del ‘miércoles negro’ en Argentina.” El País , 19 Oct. 2016, http://elpais.com/internacional/2016/10/19/argentina/1476877699_409150.html.

Chasteen, John Charles. Born in Blood & Fire: A Concise History of Latin America. W. W. Norton & Company, 2011. Print.

Cleary, Edward L. “Beginning of the Human Rights Era: Military Repression.” The Struggle for Human Rights in Latin America. Praeger, 1997. Print.

Collyns, Dan. “Women in Peru protest against rising tide of murder and sexual crime.” The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/aug/13/women-peru-protest-rising-tide-murder-sexual-crime.

Corrales, Javier. “Six Reasons Why Argentina Legalized Gay Marriage First.” Americas Quarterly, 30 July 2010. web.

Dangl, Benjamin. The Price of Fire: Resources, War, and Social Movements in Bolivia. AK Press, 2007.

Dinges, John. “The Condor system.” The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism To Three Continents. The New Press, 2005. pp. 99-125. Print.

Eisenhammer, Stephen. “Bare Life in Ciudad Juárez: Violence in a Space of Exclusion.” Latin American Perspectives, 30 Oct. 2013.

Ellner, Steve. “Social and Political Diversity and the Democratic Road to Change in Venezuela.” Latin American Perspectives, vol. 40, no. 190, ser. 3, May 2013, pp. 63–82.

Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.

Fernandez Retamar, Roberto. “Caliban: A question”. The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays. 375- 378. Print.

Finnegan, William. “Venezuela, a failing state.” The New Yorker, 14 Nov. 2016.

Fletcher, Bill, and Peter Kornbluh. “Independence Movements Under Fidel Castro.” Democracy Now, 28 Nov. 2016.

Florescano, Enrique. “The Colonial Latifundio,” The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, and Politics. Joseph, Gilbert M., and Timothy J. Henderson, editors. Duke University Press Books, 2003. Print.

Galeano, Eduardo. The Open Veins of Latin America. Monthly Review Press, 1997. 1-58.

Gallegos, Zorayda. “Hallados 4.600 fragmentos óseos en un campo de exterminio de Los Zetas.” El País , 1 Nov. 2016, http://elpais.com/internacional/2016/10/19/mexico/1476831467_522360.html.


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Documentaries About Latin America

LATIN AMERICA THROUGH THE EYES OF DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS

 

Rodrigo Reyes (USA/Mexico)

Themes
Border Issues, Hybrid Identities, Immigration and Migration

Films:

Memories Of The Future
Purgatorio

Natalia Almada (USA/Mexico)

Everardo Gonzalez (Mexico)

Ryan Suffern (USA/Guatemala)

Pamela Yates (USA/Guatemala)

Visible Evidence Dossier

24o VISIBLE EVIDENCE
Congreso Internacional de Cine Documental
Del 2 al 6 de agosto de 2017
Image result for visible evidence logo

INFORME GENERAL

 
TV
– Nota en Mshow, Magazine Ciudad.
RADIO
– Nota en “La tarde del Plata” con Analía Rivas, en AM del Plata.
– Nota en “Es la hora”, en Radio UBA.
– Nota en “Nadar de noche”, en AM 750, conducción Valeria Delgado.
https://radiocut.fm/audiocut/entrevista-a-pablo-piedras-visible- evidence-2017-buenos-aires-nadar-de-noche-valeria-delgado/
– Entrevista telefónica en “Ecos de Celuloide”, en BCN Radio.
– Nota en “Manivela” con Coco Blaustein, en Radio Nacional.
– Nota en “Escalando la Tarde”, en Radio de la Universidad Nacional de
Lanús.
– Nota con Adriana Schottlender, en Radio de la Universidad Nacional de
Avellaneda.
– Entrevista en piso en “Cinefilia”, con Luis Kramer, en Radio Zónica.
– Nota en “Mil cosas por decir”, en Al aire Radio Bar.
– Difusión en “La mañana de Victor Hugo”, en AM 750.

http://radiocut.fm/audiocut/victor-hugo-y-alan-longy-te-invitan-al- cine
– Nota en “Sin Contraseñas”, en Radio Telam.
http://www.telam.com.ar/multimedia/audios/25781-comienza-visible- evidence-el-congreso-internacional-de-cine-documental/


PORTALES
http://www.infobae.com/fotos/2017/07/31/las-10-fotos-del-dia-24/
http://www.otroscines.com/nota?idnota=12397
http://alucinema.infonews.com/nota/309432/cuba-allende-y-mas- cine-documental-en
http://web.ultracine.com/arranca-24o-visible-evidence-cine- documental/
http://leedor.com/2017/07/31/el-documentalista-jean-paul-fargier- en-buenos-aires/
http://www.funcinema.com.ar/2017/07/se-realizara-en-agosto-el- mayor-congreso-de-cine-documental/
https://elespectadorcompulsivo.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/cine- visible-evidence/
http://www.actualidadartistica.com.ar/2017/07/24-visible-evidence- congreso.html – http://leedor.com/2017/07/18/24-visible-evidence-congreso-
internacional-de-cine-documental/
http://www.girabsas.com/nota/2017-7-31-20-47-0-congreso-
internacional-de-cine-documental-visible-evidence-2017- documentalistas-del-mundo-se-reunen-en-buenos-aires
http://anoticiarte.com.ar/cine-documental-24-congreso-internacional- visible-evidence-del-2-al-6-de-agosto/
http://www.ramona.org.ar/node/63453
http://opinarg.com/24-visible-evidence-congreso-internacional-de- cine-documental/
http://www.actualidadartistica.com.ar/2017/07/cine-visible-evidence- 2-6-de-agosto.html – http://tacitabuenosaires.com.ar/cine/228-24-visible-evidence- congreso-internacional-de-cine-documental.html
http://www.arte-online.net/Portada/Novedades/24_VISIBLE_EVIDENCE
http://www.lavereda.com.ar/?p=4148
http://latecno.com.ar/noticias/el-visible-evidence-2017-se-realizara- por-primera-vez-en-nuestro-pais/
http://www.diariodecultura.com.ar/cine-y-artes- visuales/documentalistas-de-todo-el-mundo-se-reunen-en-buenos- aires/
http://www.eventarg.com/eventos-historia/7309/visible-evidence- xxiv-buenos-aires-2017
http://www.nueva-ciudad.com.ar/notas/201708/33709- documentalistas-de-todo-el-mundo-se-reunen-en-buenos-aires.html – http://www.radionacional.com.ar/tag/visible-evidence-xxiv/
http://registrodocumental.com.ar/el-congreso-internacional-del-cine- de-lo-real/
http://identidadbarrial.com.ar/congreso-internacional-cine- documental-audiovisual/

 

Medio: Agencia Telam
Sección: Espectáculos
Fecha: 31/07/2017

DOCUMENTALISTAS DE TODO EL MUNDO SE
REÚNEN EN BUENOS AIRES EN EL VISIBLE EVIDENCE

Más de 350 documentalistas y teóricos del cine de 19 países se darán cita en
Buenos Aires entre el 2 y el 6 agosto para tomar pare del Congreso
Internacional de Cine Documental Visible Evidence, que se realiza en forma
itinerante a lo largo del mundo una vez por año y en el marco del cual se podrá
asistir a clases maestras, seminarios, debates y proyecciones de filmes inéditos
en el país.
El Visible Evidence, se desarrollará en tres sedes simultáneas: el Centro
Cultural Borges, la Alianza Francesa y el Centro Cultural de la Memoria
Haroldo Conti, con una actividad de preapertura que tendrá lugar mañana a las
20 en el Auditorio de la Escuela Nacional de Cine y Experimentación
Cinematográfica (Enerc) con el estreno a nivel mundial de “The Sun Island”,
reciente filme de Thomas Elsaesser -uno de los teóricos e historiadores
centrales del cine y los medios de las últimas décadas-, seguida de un diálogo
abierto entre Elsaesser y Michael Renov.
La apertura oficial se llevará a cabo en el Teatro Margarita Xirgu (Chacabuco
875) el miércoles 2 a las 19 con una conferencia de la especialista española
María Luisa Ortega Gálvez.
Además de la intensa propuesta de mesas y paneles donde convergen la
crítica cinematográfica, realizadores y teóricos que estudian y producen análisis
sobre el cine documental, en esta edición habrá entre el miércoles 2 y el
domingo 6 de agosto un ciclo de proyecciones en el Auditorio de la Alianza
Francesa (Av. Córdoba 946) con filmes como “Jean-Daniel, parle moi encore!”,
“Play it again, Nam”y “Bill Viola : Expérience de l’infini”, los tres de Jean Paul

Fargier; “Como me da la gana II”, de Ignacio Agüero; “Todo comenzó por el
fin”, de Luis Ospina; y “Allende mi abuelo Allende”, de Marcia Tambutti Allende.
Para conocer los alcances del Visible Evidence, Télam habló con tres de los
organizadores del congreso en la Argentina, Kristi Wilson y Tomás Crowder-Taraborrelli
de la Soka University de California y Pablo Piedras investigador del
Conicet de la UBA.

Télam: Dado que Visible Evidence se realiza en distintas partes del mundo,
¿Cuáles creen ustedes que serían las particularidades “argentinas” de este
congreso?
Organizadores: La conferencia asume particularidades de acuerdo con el lugar
en el que se lleva a cabo, por un lado de tipo organizativas pero también la
conferencia adquiere su especificidad temática en línea con las problemáticas
sociales, políticas y culturales de cada región: por ejemplo, en la edición de la
India, varias de las ponencias abordaban las relaciones entre Pakistán y la
India expresadas en los documentales. En Montana, Estados Unidos, una
región que tiene tanto significado y simbolismo dentro del discurso de la
preservación del medio ambiente, las charlas exploraban temas como la
relación del cine documental con los proyectos de protección ambiental. Una de
las razones por la cuales queríamos organizar esta conferencia en Buenos
Aires es porque se trata de una ciudad muy ligada, históricamente, a la cultura
cinematográfica. Por último, nuestro país, y América Latina en general, han
sido espacios de fuerte contiendas políticas y sociales durante el siglo XX y el
XXI. Por lo tanto, cuestiones como las memorias y las historias sobre las
dictaduras, las representaciones de los movimientos revolucionarios y los
efectos de las cíclicas crisis económicas, políticas y sociales sin duda son ejes
que le dan identidad a esta edición de Visible Evidence.
Télam: ¿Podrían contarnos qué tipo de temas se discuten en un congreso de
documentalistas y cómo creen que esto puede influir luego en la práctica de los
documentalistas?

Organizadores: Los temas del congreso son muy variados, aunque, como
dijimos anteriormente, las particularidades del contexto latinoamericano suelen
pautar el contenido de varias de las charlas, talleres, conferencias y
proyecciones que tienen lugar en Visible Evidence. Sin embargo, hemos
notado que existen cuestiones que reaparecen en todos los espacios de
intercambio como por ejemplo: los nuevos usos (y los diversos alcances) de los
materiales de archivo fílmico; el impacto de las nuevas tecnologías para
documentar formas de activismo político, pero también, para expresar
problemas de subjetividad e identidad (sexuales, de géneros, políticas,
culturales y étnicas). Visible Evidence tiene la peculiaridad de ser un espacio
en el que naturalmente intervienen realizadores, productores, divulgadores,
críticos, académicos, estudiantes y docentes, por lo cual, la influencia sobre la
producción audiovisual de un evento de estas características tiende a ser
bastante alta y pregnante.
Télam: ¿Cuál creen que es el aporte de invitados como Thomas Elsaesser y
Jean-Paul Fargier?
Organizadores: Las presencias de Thomas Elsaesser y Jean-Paul Fargier son
particularmente esperadas para los participantes de Argentina y de América
Latina, dado que son dos figuras centrales de la cultura audiovisual que por
primera vez dictarán conferencias y mostrarán películas en nuestro país.
Elsaesser es quizá el más importante teórico e historiador del cine y los medios
de las últimas décadas. Su obra ha sido traducida a más de diez idiomas, sin
embargo, apenas existen publicaciones en castellano. Asimismo, en tanto
arqueólogo de la imagen ha desarrollado una extensa obra teórica que
reflexiona sobre cómo la cultura audiovisual condiciona la subjetividad de los
seres humanos. Fargier es otro autor muy poco conocido en nuestro país,
quien además ha producido una profusa obra cinematográfica documentando
los procesos creativos de diversos artistas contemporáneos como Nam June
Paik, Bill Viola, Jean-Daniel Pollet y Jean-Luc Godard, entre otros. Además, el

propio Fargier se ha dedicado a explorar el territorio del videoarte desde la
realización y también desde la crítica.
Télam: Aun a pesar de esta tendencia en la cual parecen irse diluyendo las
fronteras entre el documental y la ficción, ¿cuál creen que es la particularidad
irrenunciable, su rasgo definitorio, del documental?
Organizadores: A nuestro entender existen cuestiones como los pactos éticos
generados entre los cineastas y los sujetos representados así como los pactos
de veracidad entre los documentalistas y los espectadores que siguen siendo
un núcleo fuerte para pensar las diferencias entre el documental y la ficción.
Aun en las obras en las que la representación de la realidad es objeto de mofa
o de exploración lúdica, creemos que siempre hay una zona de tensión que
implica la responsabilidad que el documentalista tiene frente a la realidad que
traza una línea, ya sea difusa o tenue, entre documental y ficción.
Télam: ¿Cuáles son aquellas particularidades más relevantes del documental
actual?
Organizadores: El documental contemporáneo tiende cada vez más hacia las
formas del ensayo, del discurso autobiográfico y personal, pero también,
recupera las tradiciones del cine político de los sesenta y setenta y adquiere
formas de videoactivismo, con un sostenido retorno del cine directo, del cine
urgente. Las temáticas actuales son variadas, pero sin duda los documentales
tienden a mostrar las heridas que el capitalismo transnacionalizado y la
globalización provocan en el tejido social: las migraciones forzadas, genocidios,
las crisis sociales, políticas y económicas pero también las crisis respecto de
las identidades, cada vez más fluidas y nómades, los problemas asociados al
medioambiente y al impacto que las políticas neoliberales producen en los
sectores más desprotegidos de la sociedad.

Medio: Infobae (Telam)
Fecha: 31/07/2017

Luciana Zylberg 
Estrategia y Gestión en Prensa en Producción 

 

 

Entrevista a Tomás Crowder-Taraborrelli – Visible Evidence 2017 Buenos Aires

Visible Evidence XXIV, congreso internacional sobre cine y audiovisual documental, se reunirá en su 24° aniversario en la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, del 2 al 6 de agosto de 2017. VE 2017 está organizado por la Asociación Argentina de Estudios sobre Cine y Audiovisual (AsAECA), el Laboratorio Audiovisual de Investigación y Experimentación (LAIE) de la Maestría en Periodismo Documental de la Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) y la revista Cine Documental . El congreso se realizará en el Centro Cultural Borges situado en las tradicionales Galerías Pacífico, en el Teatro Margarita Xirgu-Espacio UNTREF, localizado en el histórico barrio de San Telmo, en la Alianza Francesa (sede central) y en el Centro Cultural de la Memoria Haroldo Conti. //radiocut.fm/audiocut/embed/mini/entrevista-a-tomas-crowder-taraborrelli-visible-evidence-2017-buenos-aires

Indie Lens Pop-Up: National Bird


 FREE Thursday, April 20, 2017, 7 – 9 Pm

National Bird follows the dramatic journey of whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. The tense and timely film, which had to be made in relative secrecy, gives rare insight into the American drone program through the eyes of veterans and survivors. Plagued by guilt over the killing of faceless people in foreign countries and suffering from PTSD, the veterans decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences. Executive produced by renowned filmmakers Wim Wenders and Errol Morris.