2 pm: The Past Is The Present

Program 1: The Past Is The Present
Friday, February 25, 2022
2:00 p.m. Varsity Center

Films that explore how memories are archived within the everyday; the landscape, flowers, photographs, technology, and the land itself. The last film is a profound meander through Alabama lands where black farmers sheltered freedom marchers on their 54 mile journey from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Unarchive (d. Cecilia Araneda)
Documentary – 13 minutes


Unarchive juxtaposes the filmmaker’s father’s life with the political history of Chile – his birthplace – over the past century. It reflects on how we remember and how we forget, and the role of the camera in transcending the complex place in between.

The Wind That Held Us Here (d. Jack Cronin)
Experimental – 6 minutes

During their annual migration to Mexico, thousands of Monarch butterflies funnel into Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ontario, where they wait for calm weather to allow them to fly across Lake Erie. The Wind That Held Us Here uses images and sound captured at Point Pelee National Park, as well as poetic text, to explore the concept of transmigration. The visual style uses monochromatic tones to isolate the shapes of the natural features of the park, inviting the viewer to focus on the invisible, but always present wind.

Gladiolus (d. Azadeh Navai)
Documentary – 5 minutes

An ode to a flower that once enjoyed prominence in Iranian culture, Gladiolus tells the story of its ubiquitous role in life’s important ceremonies and how it became a victim of its own popularity.

In Passing (d. Ryon Quon)
Experimental – 9 minutes

In a small town, now full of isolation, a girl writes to her mother, her younger self, and her childhood home. In Passing follows multiple vignettes of the people around her, the spaces they frequent, and the objects that now hold new meaning in their efforts to feel connected.

Guto – Um Sopro (d. Andrei Oliveira)
Animation – 4 minutes

“’Um Sopro’ is a song about time, its inexorability and our insistence, as a generation, in a way of life marked by the excess of work and consumption, repeating (and intensifying) a logic to which generations previous to ours” explains Guto Brant, the composer.

Dajla: Cinema and Oblivion (d. Arturo Duenas)
Documentary – 15 minutes

Life is going on in Dakhla, one of the Sahrawi refugee camps in southern Algeria, forgotten for 45 years. The celebration of a film festival, the Fisahara, breaks the monotony. The event ends, life (and oblivion) continues.

We May Go in a Different Direction (d. Sally Lawton)
Experimental – 10 minutes

A survey of Detroit’s central train station, vacant since 1988, as it transforms into Ford Motor Company’s self-driving car campus. The ability of knowledge to sedate us is explored through renderings of the future and incomplete pictures from the past. These images are then painted over in an attempt to see what is between automation and delusion and who is in opposition to the truth of the myth.

The Writing Box (d. Tijana Mamula)
Narrative – 29 minutes

England, 1939. Grace, a manipulative schoolgirl, spends her days sneaking out to the cinema and writing plaintive letters to her parents in a bid to join them in India. When her ploy works only in part, she finds herself marooned in their colonial villa, with just her ayah, Raissa, and a strange British cook for company. Beset by the unfamiliarity of these new surroundings, and haunted by her own fantasies about them, Grace begins to act out against her reality with increasing hostility and violence.

54 Miles to Home (d. Claire Haughey)
Documentary – 27 minutes

Three Black farming families risked their lives by providing refuge to the thousands of voting rights marchers on the historic three day, 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery. Nearly 60 years later, The Halls, Steeles and Gardiners share for the first time what their parents and grandparents sacrificed and how their families’ legacies and this historic land can be preserved for generations to come. Their stories help unveil the rural and agriculture roots of the civil rights movement, while asking the seemingly timeless American question: how do you fight for what you know is right when the majority is against you?