Post-colonialism

1991
Matsushima Ondo

Combining collage and animation with an Asian-influenced soundtrack, images of women dancing sensually and devotional imagery, Matsushima Ondo compares religious devotion with sexual representation. The viewer is invited to make connections and recognize the irony in some of the similarities.

1988
Measures of Distance

In this video, the artist tries to overcome the effects of distance, and reflects on geography represented in exile due to war, and on the psychological distance represented in each one’s approach to her womanhood. The video beautifully weaves personal images and audio recordings of a very intimate nature, binding the personal with the political.

1993
Meeting Ancestors

Chief Waiwai recounts for his village the story of a trip he and a small entourage made to meet the Zo’é, a recently contacted group whom the Waiãpi “know” through video. Both groups speak Tupi dialects and share many cultural traditions, but the Zo’é are currently experiencing the phenomena of contact that the Waiãpi underwent 20 years ago. Waiãpi cameraman Kasiripinã illustrates the Waiwai’s account of the trip with video. The Zo’é afford their visitors the chance to re-encounter the way of life and wisdom of their ancestors.

1989
Memories from the Department of Amnesia

Tanaka passionately evokes the loss of her mother by visually recreating the ominous and disempowering feeling of isolation that accompanies mourning. The tape enunciates the painful phases of grieving: the claustrophobic results of dealing with the inevitability of death, the transitional void where one is lost between the comfortable orientation of one’s world and Nothing, and the new sense of clarity where images from the past resurface from the abyss of forgetfulness.

1997
Morayngava

Morayngava: the “design of things.” Yngiru: the box of the spirits, the films, just like xaman dreams. This is how the Asurini define video, which has just arrived in their village. After discovering that it is possible to store their images, the old men lament that they never stored images of their ancestors and decided to register the initiation of a xaman, a tradition threatened by new times.

Directed by Virginia Valadão and Regina Müller.

In Assurini with English subtitles.

2014
Carlos Motta: An Interview

In the case of Carlos Motta’s career, the impetus has always been on, not adhering to particular medium or a particular style, but rather using media as it becomes appropriate tell a story that has heretofore been stifled by dominant power structures. The technical variability of his work is only matched by its potential to generate conversation and discourse in the arenas of sexuality, gender, democracy and colonialism – usually as a conflux of all four through historical excavation.

1975
My Father

In this classic personal elegy, Kubota mourns her father's death and recounts the last days of his life. Reflecting on Kubota's use of the video medium, the television emerges as the link between Kubota and her father, with the melodramatic crooning of Japanese pop singers providing a backdrop for Kubota's real-life tragedy.

This title is also available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.

1990
My Mother's Place

My Mother’s Place is an experimental documentary focusing on the artist’s mother, a third-generation Chinese-Trinidadian who at 80 still has vivid memories of a history lost or quickly disappearing. She conveys these with a storytelling style and a frankness that is distinctly West Indian. A tape about memory, oral history, and autobiography, My Mother’s Place interweaves interviews, personal narrative, home movies, and verité footage of the Caribbean to explore the formation of race, class, and gender under colonialism.

1991
NOMADS at the 25 DOOR

NOMADS at the 25 DOOR is presented in three chapters and based around a series of interviews between Finley and Mickey Yates, a 22-year-old woman serving a double life sentence in the Nevada Women’s Correctional Institution for the murder of her mother. Interweaving interview excerpts with footage of the upheaval in Eastern Europe, the tape explores the memory’s construction of an ephemeral homeland when a concrete one is lost, stolen or left behind.

1982
Oued Nefifik: A Foreign Movie

Oued Nefifik: A Foreign Movie is an experimental narrative that incorporates an actual political situation. The film was shot in the immediate aftermath of violent repression following food riots in Casablanca, June 1981. It characterizes the experience of a political event for people outside of it. The point of view is that of an absurd and sympathetic character based on Jacques Tati’s Mr Hulot, who is distanced from the post-colonial milieu in which he finds himself.

1986
Out of the Mouths of Babes

This video proposes an ironic metaphor to grasp the follies of U.S. government action and inaction in Central America. The process of learning U.S. policy is similar to the process of a young child acquiring the principles of language. These dual senses of literacy operate on several levels, situating a child’s consciousness within the contradictions of history comments on the illusory innocence of childhood, and the unexamined, but real, guilt of the U.S. government, its supporters and clients.

1997
Papapapa

An experimental video about immigration. Looking at the potato (which was first cultivated in Peru) Papapapá paints a picture of a vegetable that has traveled and been transformed—following the migrating potato North where it becomes the potato chip, the couch potato, and the french fry. Papapapá simultaneously follows another Peruvian in motion, the artist’s father, Augusto Rivera. The stories of the two immigrants, the potato and Papa Rivera, converge as Augusto becomes a Peruvian couch potato, sitting on an American sofa, eating potato chips and watching Spanish language television.

1988
Pemp

Pemp traces the 25-year struggle of the Parakatêjê (Gavião) to maintain autonomy in the face of huge development projects in the south of Pará. From the initial recovery of their lands in 1957 through dealings with FUNAI in the 1970s and the appropriation of Brazil nut monopolies to their current negotiations with the government, Pemp shows the Parakatêjê’s most precious project; the preservation of their ceremonies and songs. The Kokrenum, chief and keeper of the group’s traditions, uses video to transmit them to future generations.

1996
Pochonovela:  A Chicano Soap Opera

Pochonovela is a bilingual, bicultural blend of Latin America’s and the United States’ most popular television genres—the telenovela and the sitcom, respectively. The humor and madness of life in East Los Angeles are captured here in performances by members of the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe, Chicano Secret Service, and other U.S. Latino actors. This provocative comedy touches on political, social, cultural, linguistic, and family issues attendent to the cross cultural life of Mexican Americans living near or on the border—both psychologically and geographically.

2007
Ephraim Asili "Points on a Space Age"

“A documentary about the Arkestra, but it's one whose presentation reflects the multilevel approach Sun Ra had to music and life in general. Jump cuts and split screens dot the visual stream with home movie footage from the Arkestra in Egypt during the '70s to the Arkestra of today led by Marshall Allen. Director Ephraim Asili wisely divides the 40 minutes into distinct chapters, illustrating each with band interviews, live footage, visuals of planets and NASA launches, and his voice quoting writings from Ra.