Retrospective of Iara Lee’s Films: Screenings and Discussions with Iara Lee
All the events will be followed by discussion with filmmaker Iara Lee.
343 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027
Sunday, Apr 28: SYNTHETIC PLEASURES (1995)
Time: 7:30 PM
Is reality obsolete? From low-tech function like body piercing and artificially-stocked fishing pools, to the latest in bionics and VR gaming, Iara Lee’s cyber-age intellectual survey – call it a *.DOCumentary – downloads a Future Shockful of data and defines the parameters of advanced technologies that delete nature and reprogram mankind. Cryonics defy death; the Internet exists outside time and space; smart drugs and surgery upgrade the mind and body. But are we headed toward human optimization, or system crash? Timothy Leary, RU Sirius, Lisa Palac, John Barlow and others offer sound bytes against a mesmerizing screen display of cutting edge computer-graphics and archival clips. Exhilarating and disturbing, Synthetic Pleasures raises issues nobody today can afford to abort / retry / ignore.
Monday, Apr 29: BURKINABÈ RISING: the art of resistance in Burkina Faso’ (2018)
Best Documentary, Winter Films Awards, 2018 New York
UNESCO Special Award: Afrika Filmfestival 2018 Leuven
Human Rights Award, SiciliAmbiente Documentary Film Festival and Amnesty International Italia, 2018
Burkinabè Rising, a new documentary from Cultures of Resistance Films, showcases creative nonviolent resistance in Burkina Faso. A small, landlocked country in West Africa, Burkina Faso is home to a vibrant community of artists and engaged citizens, who provide an example of the type of political change that can be achieved when people come together. It is an inspiration, not only to the rest of Africa but also to the rest of the world.
Tuesday, Apr 30: MODULATIONS: cinema for the ear (1998)
Modulations is a feature-length documentary that captures a moment in history where humans and machines are fusing to create today’s most exciting sounds. It traces the evolution of electronic music as one of the most profound artistic developments of the twentieth century. By cutting back and forth between avant-garde composers, Kraftwerk’s innovative synthesizer drones, Giorgio Moroder’s glacial Euro-disco, Afrika Bambaataa’s electro-funk, and Prodigy’s current worldwide superstarstardom, Modulations celebrates, replicates, and illuminates the nomadic drift of the post-human techno sound. The film examines the kids who have turned the turntable into a musical instrument, disillusioned disco lovers who created acid house out of primitive synthesizers, Motor City mavericks who saw the drum machine as their escape route out of urban neglect, and a generation of British youth who transformed these blips and bleeps into dance floor anthems of their own alienation. Modulations provides a sense of history and context in which today’s electronic music can be understood. It entertains the converted and remixes the mindset of electronica’s nay-sayers. Featuring a stunning collage of interviews, cutting-edge visuals, in-studio footage, and live performances, Modulations moves at a pace that matches the energy and innovation of the music
Thursday, May 2: CULTURES OF RESISTANCE (2010)
Does each gesture really make a difference? Can music and dance be weapons of peace? In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict and, as she saw it, heading for self-destruction. After several years, travelling over five continents, Iara encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promoting change. This is their story. From IRAN, where graffiti and rap became tools in fighting government repression, to BURMA, where monks acting in the tradition of Gandhi take on a dictatorship, moving on to BRAZIL, where musicians reach out to slum kids and transform guns into guitars, and ending in PALESTINIAN refugee camps in LEBANON, where photography, music, and film have given a voice to those rarely heard, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE explores how art and creativity can be ammunition in the battle for peace and justice. Featuring: Medellín poets for peace, Capoeira masters from Brazil, Niger Delta militants, Iranian graffiti artists, women’s movement leaders in Rwanda, Lebanon’s refugee filmmakers, U.S. political pranksters, indigenous Kayapó activists from the Xingu River, Israeli dissidents, hip-hop artists from Palestine, and many more…
Friday, May 3: LIFE IS WAITING: referendum and resistance in Western Sahara (2015)
Hosted by NYC Democratic Socialists of America
NYU Global Spiritual Life
238 Thompson St, Fl 4th
New York, New York
More than four decades after its people were promised freedom by departing Spanish rulers, the Western Sahara remains Africa’s last colony. While a UN-brokered ceasefire put an end to armed hostilities in the territory in 1991, the Sahrawi people have continued to live under the Moroccan armed forces’ oppressive occupation, and what peace exists in the area is fragile at best. Tens of thousands of Sahrawis have fled to neighboring Algeria, where over 125,000 refugees still live in camps that were intended to be temporary. In spite of these difficulties, a new movement, with youth at its center, is rising to challenge human rights abuses and to demand the long-promised referendum on freedom. Today’s young generation is deploying creative nonviolent resistance for the cause of self-determination. In doing so, they’ve had to persevere against a torrent of conflicting forces. While risking torture and disappearance at the hands of Moroccan authorities, they’re also pushing back against those who have lost patience with the international community and are ready to launch another guerrilla war. The new film from director Iara Lee will examine these tensions as it chronicles the everyday violence of life under occupation, giving voice to the aspirations of a desert people for whom colonialism has never ended.
By Subway: The #2 and #3 train station is two blocks away at 125th street. You can also take A, B, C, D, or #4, #5, #6 to 125th street and walk or take a bus to Lenox Avenue.
By Bus: M-1, M-2, M-7, M-60, M-100, M-101, M-102 or BX 15
Parking is available at the Municipal Garage at 126th Street between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.