Look Closely at the Mountains(Olhe Bem As Montanhas)_Ana Vaz

Look Closely at the Mountains(Olhe Bem As Montanhas)_Ana Vaz

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Brazil / 2018 / Color / Sound / 30 min / HD

Description
“Look closely at the mountains!”: the phrase was coined by artist Manfredo de Souzanetto during Brazil’s years of dictatorship. Mining activities were destroying the environment in the state of Minas Gerais in the south west of the country. Through editing, Ana Vaz draws parallels between this region and the very distant Nord-Pas-de-Calais in northern France, also marked by over three centuries of mining. On one side, eroded mountains plague its inhabitants with deadly landslides. Hollow and gutted, these mountains become the receptacles of a ghostly memory. On the other side, in France, mining waste stacks become mountains and reservoirs of biodiversity, where the frontier between nature and technology is now indiscernible. The filmmaker surprises us with each shot. Poetry takes precedence over any activist or environmental discourse — as in the sequence showing scientists measuring bats in the moonlight. Here, “look closely” steers the film towards details, towards visual and sound elements. Yet, these are never disconnected from the political: a shot of the sky taken from the bottom of a ravine is enough to conjure up the ghosts of eradicated indigenous peoples, whose cave nonetheless paintings continue. (Charlotte Garson, Cinéma du Réel)

Bio
Ana Vaz (b. 1986, Brasília) is an artist and filmmaker whose films and other expanded works speculate upon the relationships between self and other, myth and history through a cosmology of signs, references and perspectives. Assemblages of found and shot materials, her films combine ethnography and speculation in exploring the frictions and fictions imprinted upon both cultivated and savage environments and their multiple inhabitants. A graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Ana was also a member of SPEAP (SciencesPo School of Political Arts), a project conceived and directed by Bruno Latour. Recent screenings of her work include the New York Film Festival – Projections, TIFF Wavelenghts, CPH:DOX, Videobrasil, Courtisane, Cinéma du Réel and Lux Salon. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Kazuko Trust Award presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in recognition of artistic excellence and innovation in her moving-image work.

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