Boundary Lines: Three Films about Immigration

A still from Philip Stapp's "Boundary Lines"

Friday, December 14 at 7pm
Calles y Sueños-Chicago
1900 South Carpenter
Chicago, Illinois 60608
Suggested donation: $5
Director Luis Sánchez Ramírez in person

This program, centered around the theme of immigration, ranges from idealist post-WWII animations to a modern Senegalese campfire narrative to a wide-ranging experimental piece that attempts to deal with the whole experience of colonization and migration. Funded by the Marshall Plan, Philip Stapp’s BOUNDARY LINES (1945, 12 min, 16mm on video) is gracefully expressive animation “on bigotry and hate that traces the cause of these evils to the imaginary ‘boundary lines’ men draw to divide themselves: lines of fear, possession, color and greed” (New York Public Library catalog). Mati Diop’s ATLANTIQUES (2009, 15 min, video) features grainy nocturnal images, barely recognizable at times, of men gathered around a campfire considering a dangerous ocean trip to find a better life. Luis Sánchez Ramírez’s NORTE Y SUR (2009, 60 min, video) “is a collage of mediums and forms of representation” of the family and its relation to the “migrant experience.” Within its episodic form, it contains pieces based on colonizer’s language used to divide racial groups, family drama about moving at the end of each growing season, and the hushed fears of a group of migrants being moved across the border.

Este programa de film, concentrado en el tema de inmigración, incluye animaciones idealistas de la era después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, una película moderna de narrativa de hoguera senegalesa, y una obra comprensiva y experimental que intenta tratar de la experiencia completa de colonización y migración. Pagado por el Plan Marshall, BOUNDARY LINES (1945, 12 min, 16mm en vídeo) de Philip Stapp es animación graciosamente expresiva “sobre fanatismo y odio que descubre la causa de estes males en las líneas de frontera (‘boundary lines’) imaginarias que dibujan los hombres para dividirles uno del otro: líneas de miedo, posesión, color, y avaricia” (catálogo de New York Public Library). ATLANTIQUES (2009, 15 min, vídeo) de Mati Diop destaca imágenes nocturnas graneadas, a veces casi imposible a reconocer, de hombres reunidos alrededor de una hoguera considerando un viaje peligroso del mar para encontrar una vida mejor. NORTE Y SUR (2009, 60 min, vídeo) de Luis Sánchez Ramírez “es un collage de medios y formas de representación” de la familia y su relacion a la “experiencia migrante.” Dentro de su forma episódica, contiene obras basados en el lenguaje del colonizador utilizado para dividir grupos raciales, drama familiar sobre mudarse al fin de cada época de cultivo, y los miedos callados de un grupo de migrantes que se está trasladando a través de la frontera.

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Calles y Sueños-Chicago is an autonomous project headed by Christina Obregon and co-coordinator Juan Carlos Bueno, both of whom are cultural activists and advocates of the Pilsen community, who work to provide an alternative space for local and international artists, musicians, poets, and activists. The project has provided the Pilsen community with exhibitions, performing arts, music, film, and cultural workshops with the understanding that where there is a need there lies an opportunity for those passionate about change.