Doc Fortnight 2019 documentary film festival at MoMA

The Doc Fortnight international documentary film festival is at MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown, Manhattan, Thu-Thu, February 21-28, 2019. $25

The Festival works to bring different points of view to New Yorkers.


Doc Fortnight 2019

The opening night movie is Prun Nourry’s ‘Serendipity’ (2018) about the filmmaker’s battle with breast cancer.

The closing night movie is Heddy Honigmann’s ‘Buddy’ (2018) a portrait of the bond between humans and their guide dogs.

Doc Fortnight 2019 is organized by Kathy Brew, Guest Curator with Emily Rago. The Latin films are a Doc Fortnight/Cinema Tropical collaboration.


‘La extraña: Notas sobre el (auto) exilio’ (The Stranger: Notes on [Self] Exile)

Directed by Javier Olivera
Argentina, 2018
(in Spanish with English subtitles)

Based on the writings of Argentine folk singer Atahualpa Yupanqui (1908-1992) and Uruguayan author Marcelo Viñar (1936), this dreamlike documentary addresses what it means to belong to a place. Through philosophical motifs and abstract compositions, La Extraña confronts the potential dissociation with one’s own sense of being.

This is a really interesting idea. There is something about the place you were born and especially the place where you were a teenager that stays with you for your entire life. Along with the genetics of your parents and grandparents, these are your roots. Indigenous peoples are deeply rooted in a symbiotic, mutually beneficial, relationship with the land.

Yet humans are natural migrants. As Uruguayan Academy Award winner Jorge Drexler has said, we have been walking since we had two feet.

What happens when you leave your roots? Generally people who move away from home do better in life. But a strange disassociation occurs when you migrate. People in both your original home and your adopted home both think of you as an outsider. You get put into a kind of purgatory between two cultures.

Argentina has an interesting perspective on migration. It is far away from the power centers of the northern hemisphere, sort of at the end of the world.

Argentina is very mixed. The first Europeans to visit were eaten by the local Indigenous people. Eventually the Spanish took over and the Gaucho, the Argentine cowboy who is an archetype of the Argentine character, grew out of a blend of Spanish and Indigenous cultures.

Buenos Aires was a free city so many free blacks and escaped slaves moved there. Then a hundred years ago there was a great migration out of Italy. Rich Italians migrated to Argentina, poor ones migrated to New York City. English built the Argentine railroad system. Today Argentines are about 60% Italian.

A good example of this cultural mix is how Argentine tango singing is rooted in Italian opera, though tango is an African dance related to the Habanera, the French contradance (English country dance) of Spanish-controlled Habana, Cuba.

So Argentines know the stranger (la extraña) well.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 7pm.
Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2
Screening and discussion with the filmmakers

Screening with ‘Communion Los Angeles’ (2018) by Peter Bo Rappmund and Adam R. Levine.

‘La Extraña’ tickets at www.moma.org


‘Theatre of War’

Directed by Lola Arias
Argentina, 2018
(in Spanish with English subtitles)

Since 1833, jurisdiction over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands has been the source of major controversy—so much so that in 1982, this ongoing debate resulted in war. Over the course of three months nearly 1,000 British and Argentine soldiers lost their lives in a war for sovereignty.

Blurring the lines between reality and fiction, this unorthodox documentary focuses on the damaging effects the Falklands War had on six of its soldiers. Through the use of theatrical performance, reenactment, music, and storytelling, Theatre of War revisits a kind of universal turmoil.

Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 7:30pm
Museum of Modern Art, Floor T1, Theater 1

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 4pm
Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2

‘Theater of War’ tickets at www.moma.org


‘Volver a ver’

Directed by Judith Vélez Aguirre
Peru, 2018
(In Spanish and Quechua with English subtitles)

Between 1982 and 2000, the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) waged a guerilla war in Peru, becoming one of the most brutal terrorist groups of the 20th century. The conflict began in the Ayacucho region, where many Andean people were victimized and killed.

Photographers Vera Lentz, Alejandro Balaguer, and Oscar Medrano managed to capture the horror and pain this war caused—and now, years later, they revisit the subjects and locales captured in their photos. Volver a ver tells a story that is not often told, about the tragedies that took place in Peru for nearly two decades, using the lens of art to reveal memories that question an official history that elides the indigenous contribution to the peace process.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 7:30pm
Museum of Modern Art, Floor T1, Theater 1
Discussion with the filmmaker

Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 4pm
Museum of Modern Art, Floor T1, Theater 1

‘Volver a ver’ tickets at www.moma.org


Doc Fortnight Shorts Program: The Presence of Place

The Shorts Program includes several Latin films.

‘The Offering’

Directed by Guille Isa and Bill Silva.
Peru, 2018
In Quechua and Spanish with English subtitles

In the highlands of Peru, seekers of strength and guidance perform an ancient ritual of dance and music as an offering to the spirits.

‘A Singular Garden’

Directed by Monica Klemz
Brazil, 2017

Past and present meet in this depiction of a public park in Rio de Janeiro that once hosted the formal affairs of the Presidential Palace.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 4pm
Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2

‘Takehara’

Directed by Jarot Mansilla
Peru, 2017

In a greenhouse in the Lima desert, Mr. Takehara has been perfecting a bonsai oasis for 20 years.

‘Hablando con Dios’

Directed by Glenda Leon
Cuba, 2018

In the pews of an ornately decorated Baroque church, congregants worship a new-age God that challenges the meaning of Higher Power.

Shorts Program tickets at www.moma.org


Doc Fortnight Tickets

Movie screening tickets are separate from museum admission. At MoMA, you can upgrade your film ticket to general admission if you want to explore the art galleries.

Tickets are available at the door and online at www.moma.org

Adults: $12
Seniors (65+ with ID): $10
Students (full-time with ID): $8
Children (16 and under): Free

Members: Free


MoMA, Museum of Modern Art

18 West 54th St, New York, NY 10019
(between Fifth & Sixth Aves)
Midtown, Manhattan

Daily: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm (Fridays until 8 pm)
Early hours for members start at 9:30 am


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