When: 2 November 2019, 14:00 — 17:00
Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square, CINEMA
FREE, Book your place here
Guyana’s Victor Jara Collective may have produced just two films, yet as an example of a politically committed and formally radical approach to documentary filmmaking, their intervention remains unique in the relatively short history of indigenous Caribbean cinema production.
Named in honour of the Chilean musician and dissident Victor Jara, the collective was influenced by the New Latin American and Third Cinema movements as well as the theories of Soviet montage and the European avant-garde. The collective—born out of a Marxist study group at Cornell University—aimed to create work that explored Guyana’s own political, social and economic struggles as a newly postcolonial nation.
The Terror and the Time (1978, 75’, 16mm) In 1953, what was then known as British Guiana elected its first “internal self-government” under colonial rule. Nervous about the government’s progressive programs and supposed Soviet influence, the British suspended the constitution, jailed the democratically elected leaders, and staged a military invasion. Made in 1978, The Terror and the Time is a piece of agitprop documentary filmmaking that revisits the events of that seminal year in Guyanese history. Set to a series of poems by the acclaimed poet Martin Carter and against the backdrop of the Cold War and events of 1953 in such places as Iran, Guatemala, Kenya and the United States, this film was banned by Guyana’s government, and has rarely screened since it was made.
In the Sky’s Wild Noise (1983, 29’, 16mm) In the Sky’s Wild Noise is built around an interview with Walter Rodney, the renowned Guyanese historian, author and political activist, who was assassinated in 1980. The interview—which was filmed in 1976, when the Victor Jara Collective were shooting their first documentary, The Terror and The Time—is intercut with archival footage, and explores the political, social and economic conditions of the working class in Guyana in the 1970s.
This programme is presented by the Twelve30 Collective in association with Third Horizon Film Festival, Guyana SPEAKS and the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAVS).