Director Robert Fenz in Person!
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DJ Angela Sawyer of Weirdo Records opens the night with vinyl gems from her collection!
Public space is an endangered species these days. As soon as the Occupy Wall Street rhizome reached Dewey Square last October, the ambiguous legal status of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and public grounds in general, became apparent once more. The legality of the astoundingly dignified 116-day encampment hung by a thread for its duration, culminating in an inevitable late-night eviction on December 10th.
Who is the self-appointed master of this so-called public space? Were the (re-)occupiers not contributing members of our society, trying to redirect its rogue course toward humanism by using their own bodies and possessions as protest signs? Do their selfless efforts not deserve an outlet like Iceland’s historic commons, Thingvellir, “the perpetual property of the … nation, never to be sold or mortgaged”?
The films of WHOSE LAND? express a similar malaise. This “land of the free” appears to be colonized by a malignant and hungry privatizing force that corrals our ideas and activities into pens to prevent any obstruction to a Manifest Destiny that, having run out of earthly space, has now set its sights on the moon.
Triumph of the Wild (2008, 10 mins, 35mm) by Martha Colburn
“Triumph of the Wild spans decades of battles in American history and places a man in a landscape infested with indigenous predatory animals.” – MC
Future So Bright (2010, 23 mins, HDCam) by Matt McCormick
“[T]he film explores ghost towns, abandoned military bases, and boarded up tourist traps to present a meditative time capsule of the false starts and failed attempts of the past 200 years of American Western Expansion.” – MM
Kudzu Vine (2011, 20 mins, 35mm CinemaScope) by Josh Gibson
Beautiful, eerie portrait of an invasive species from Korea that is taking over the Southern landscape several feet a day.
Crossings (2005, 5 mins, 16mm) by Robert Fenz (appearing in person!)
“By visually simulating what the [United States-Mexico border] wall symbolizes, Fenz depicts terror and awe as impossibly intertwined.” – Trinie Dalton (2008 Whitney Biennial)
You Are on Indian Land (1969, 34 mins, 16mm) by Mort Ransen and Mike Mitchell
Legendary vérité document of a 1969 protest by members of the Mohawk tribe against a levy imposed on them by the U.S.-Canada border authority.
Balagan is a screening series that takes place every other Tuesday at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. It is run and curated by a group of local filmmakers: Alla Kovgan, Jeff Silva, Stefan Grabowski and Mariya Nikiforova. Visit balaganfilms.com for more information about the series.