09jul8:00 pm10:00 pmThe Backlot Cinema at Epsilon Spires Presents "Epicentro" and "Powers of Ten"A Documentary Exploring Post-Colonial Cuba is Paired With a Classic Eames Office Short8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Event Organized By: Epsilon Spires
The Backlot Cinema Series continues on Friday, July 9th, when Epsilon Spires will screen the 2020 feature-length documentary Epicentro
The Backlot Cinema Series continues on Friday, July 9th, when Epsilon Spires will screen the 2020 feature-length documentary Epicentro and the 1977 animated short Powers of Ten in the parking lot of the historic First Baptist Church in downtown Brattleboro.
Epicentro is a vivid journey through modern-day Cuba, where the legacy of Spanish and American imperialism—including its current incarnation in the form of the tourist economy—have scarred a nation still grappling with its history and its place in the world.
“The film does such a good job of critiquing different methods of foreign intervention, including media, while celebrating the Cuban people’s creative resiliency,” says Jamie Mohr, Programming Director of the Backlot Cinema Series and Creative Director of Epsilon Spires. She adds that the film “has the beauty of a travelogue while existing on the forefront of documentary ethics, with a strong awareness of ‘the gaze’ and its impact on cultural identity.”
A central theme of Epicentro is the power of storytelling and the implications of who is allowed to shape history, including the meta issue of a European filmmaker documenting the joys and struggles of the Cuban people. “Director Hubert Sauper has an incredibly conscious approach to filmmaking, in that the process is a collaborative exchange with his subjects,” Mohr says.
Sauper has made two other films about the manifestations of colonialism, including Darwin’s Nightmare, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2004. In 2020 Epicentro was awarded the Grand Prize for World Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.
Refreshments for the evening will be provided by Moon and Stars, an organization in Vermont’s Upper Valley that makes artisanal arepas with heirloom varieties of corn that support regenerative farming practices. Arepas are a staple food in Colombia and Venezuela, and consist of a ground corn patty that can be either filled or topped with foods like cheese, beans, eggs, and vegetables.
The recent dominance of US-engineered corn in the Andes region has harmed the ecosystem and traditional farming practices central to the culture of that area. According to their website, Moon and Stars strives to mitigate this agricultural imperialism through providing “nutrient-dense and culturally vital food, while both engaging the community in ancestral knowledge and creating new ideas about cultural and environmental sustainability.”
The evening with open with the short film Powers of Ten, which takes viewers on a journey from a picnic on the shore of the Great Lakes to the outer reaches of the galaxy before zooming back in to explore life on a cellular level, all in increments of a meter multiplied by a factor of ten every ten seconds. The animation was created for IBM by Charles and Ray Eames, the married couple famous for their contributions to modern architecture and design.
Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows, and chairs to make themselves comfortable during the screening. Tickets for the event, which include entry into a raffle for gift certificates to local businesses, are $10 each. Restrooms will be available throughout the evening. In the event of rain, the screening will take place in the Sanctuary of the church.
To purchase tickets, and for information about upcoming screenings in the Backlot Cinema Series, please visit www.epsilonspires.org/backlotcinema.
(Friday) 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Epsilon SpiresJamie Mohr 190 Main Street