The DocYard: Rock Bottom Riser
Director: Fern Silva Run Time: 70 min. Release Year: 2021
Starring: Avi Loeb, Kalepa Baybayon, Moses Goods, Nainoa Thompson, Rubellite Johnson
An internationally-respected 16mm experimental filmmaker, Fern Silva tackles the feature-length form for the first time in this incisive film essay, which takes as its opening salvo an aural meditation on the colonial implications of visual imagery, before swooping in to view, terrifyingly closely, magma flows from the volcano Kīlauea. Over the course of the film’s runtime, the art-as-research methodology examines more serious topics like Polynesian navigation techniques, Indigenous epistemologies, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) land defenders, and pop culture depictions of Hawai’i, as well as more playful and irreverent puns on the word “rock.” Its expansive approach allows Silva to assemble a network of related ideas without forcing them into a rigid hierarchy. As a visual argument, it’s dazzling.
The DocYard is proud to present the debut of Rock Bottom Riser’s 35mm print at the Brattle Theatre, where Silva worked while attending college at MassArt.
World Premiere at Berlinale 2021. Official Selection of Cinéma Du Réel, New Directors/New Films, International Film Festival Rotterdam, True/False Film Festival, and Hawai’i International Film Festival.
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