Imperfect Machines

I'm headed back from the Bay Area after an interesting event with Indelible Lalita at UC Santa Cruz's Center for Documentary Arts and Research. The gathering was called Imperfect Machines: Screening Bodies, Illness, and Disability and involved three films exploring themes of disability, illness, and intersections between physical and national bodies.

Emily Cohen's Bodies at War: a Colombian Landline Story uses stories of amputation and rehabilitation as a window to look at the legacy of Colombia's decades of civil war.  Beginning with a graphic amputation scene and continuing through physical therapy and prosthesis manufacture, the film traverses a rich social and psychological landscape.

Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa's short The Green and the Blue looks at the artist's mother's complex relationships with her plants, her family, and her pacemaker.  The greenery of her native Puerto Rico inspires her interactions with the world and sets a troubling contrast with the new machinery within her.

I really enjoyed meeting these filmmakers and talking with our moderators Megan Moodie and Nancy Chen. Thank you UCSC and CDAR director Irene Lusztig for bringing me and the film there!