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October 14 - October 21, 2018

Personal Truths. The Cinema of Albertina Carri

A seminal figure of the New Argentine Cinema that burst into prominence in the 1990s, Albertina Carri (b. 1973) is that loose movement’s punk voice and anti-establishment consciousness, a rebel artist whose formally bold and wildly diverse films are united by a steadfast intent to rigorously challenge the status quo. With Los Rubios, a spirited and controversial archaeology of her own parents’ unsolved deaths, Carri announced the deeply personal stakes undergirding her rough-edged cinema by allowing her own uncertain voice to guide the film’s twisting yet determined path. Subsequent films, such as her uncannily polished Géminis, showcased Carri’s profound talents as an auteur stylist, able to effectively shape her films into a seemingly recognizable mode she then effectively detonates through shocking imagery and narrative turns. Like many of her films, Géminis unflinchingly explores a deeply taboo subject, here a hothouse study of incestuous desire recalling art house melodramas from the likes of Marco Bellocchio and Leopoldo Torre Nilsson. In her recent film Cuatreros, Carri returns to open-form documentary to offer a personal meditation on the pattern of violence that she finds deeply rooted in the Argentine soil. With its refracted multichannel imagery and complex voiceover, Cuatreros channels the radical mold-shattering energy of Carri’s now-iconic exploration of her own family’s tragic history, Los Rubios.

The Harvard Film Archive is honored to welcome Albertina Carri to present and discuss her iconoclastic films and path-breaking career. Support for this program comes from the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard. – Haden Guest

Special thanks: Paola Ibarra Deschamps—David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; Mariano Siskind—Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.


Sunday October 14 at 7pm

Géminis

Directed by Albertina Carri. With Cristina Banegas, Daniel Fanego, Maria Abadi
Argentina/France 2005, 35mm, color, 85 min. Spanish with English subtitles

Carri delivered a subversive blow to the heteronormal ideal of bourgeois family and domesticity in her stylish portrait of a seemingly typical well-off Buenos Aires family whose youngest siblings, twins, are trapped in a deep incestuous tryst. With an understated frankness, Géminis gradually unravels the polished world to reveal an ambiguous pattern of complicity and guilt entangling the family’s stern yet strangely evasive matriarch, and perhaps even the larger society itself. Slow burning, Géminis suddenly explodes into a raw maelstrom of emotions. Print courtesy Diego Schipani.

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Albertina Carri in Person
Saturday October 20 at 7pm

The Blonds (Los Rubios)

Directed by Albertina Carri. With Albertina Carri, Santiago Giralt, Jesica Suarez
Argentina/US 2003, 35mm, color & b/w, 89 min. Spanish with English subtitles

Carri achieved a radical breakthrough with Los Rubios, her edgy and still-controversial shape-shifting meditation on memory, truth and the untold history of the desaparacidos. Inspired by her own angry searching through shards of personal and collective memory for the facts of her own parents’ still unsolved assassination, Carri weaves together seemingly distinct approaches and emotions into a stubbornly ungainly yet potent admixture, melding raw video interviews and wistful domestic scenes improbably reenacted with Playmobil figurines while, at each turn, pointing to the limitations of each method to represent or uncover theever-elusive truth. In one of her film’s boldest gambits, Carri casts an actress to play herself, with the director and her surrogate often appearing together uncannily on screen. One of the few prominent and successful films about the desaparacidos made by one of its victims, Los Rubios is a film whose radical hybridity and formal restlessness seem to echo the personal and collective trauma known all too well by its creator. Print courtesy Diego Schipani.

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Sunday October 21 at 4:30pm

I Won’t Go Back Home 
(No quiero volver a casa
)

Directed by Albertina Carri. With Martín Churba, Manuel Callau, Margara Alonso
Argentina/Netherlands 2001, 35mm, b/w, 78 min. Spanish with English subtitles

Carri’s impressive debut film is a noir vision of a paranoid and dangerous Buenos Aires where a group of diverse Porteños are fatefully linked by a brutal killing. Shot in low-fi black and white, I Won’t Go Back Home immediately revealed Carri’s interest in extreme style and provocative imagery designed to shock, unsettle and almost assault the viewer into a new consciousness about the injustice and violence her films have continued to attack with urgent energy. Print courtesy Diego Schipani.

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$12 Special Event Tickets
Albertina Carri in Conversation with Mariano Siskind

Sunday October 21 at 7pm

Cuatreros

Directed by Albertina Carri
Argentina 2016, DCP, color & b/w, 83 min. Spanish with English subtitles

An unexpected follow-up to Los Rubios, Carri’s unclassifiable latest documentary began as a film portrait of the legendary Isidro Velázquez (1928-1967), a notorious agitator and popular hero celebrated as the “last of the gauchos.” Velázquez was also, however, the subject of an important book written by Carri’s father and finished before his assassination by the dictatorship. And so Cuatreros (an Argentine term for horse rustler) gave way to another personal and charged odyssey by Carri, whose own voiceover narration guides its willfully meandering path towards a broader meditation on violence and Argentina’s dark history, with Carri dispassionately explaining, digressing and often speaking in angry and ironic counterpoint to the images on screen. Cuatreros’ first finished form was a multichannel installation whose traces are vivid in the scenes of Carri juxtaposing one, two and up to five different images drawn from archival footage.

“What do I seek? I search for films, also for family, a family that is alive, and one that is dead; I seek a revolution, its dead, some kind of justice; I search for my mother and fathers, desaparacidos, their remains, their names, what they left me. I make a Western of my own life. I seek a voice, my own voice, through the noise and rage of those shattered by that same bourgeois justice.” – Albertina Carri

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