Paz Encina, one of Paraguayan cinema’s most compelling voices, presents her two features along with rarely screened short films.
Ejercicios de memoria (Memory Exercises). 2016
Memory Exercises is the culmination of Encina’s work with the so-called Archives of Terror—meticulous records kept by the government of dictator Alfredo Stroessner. Encina’s longstanding political and aesthetic research project focused on how a community can cope with such detailed accounts of human rights violations. Memory and history, the personal and the political interweave in this experimental documentary that explores the consequences of Stroessner’s decades-long state terror regime and how it continues to mark the Paraguayan people. Constructed from the testimonies, visual material, and memories of the children of Agustín Goiburú, an opposition leader who disappeared in 1979, Memory Exercises is a provocative reflection on how film might respond to political circumstances amid a surfeit of images of terror.
Hamaca paraguaya (Paraguayan Hammock). 2006
Encina’s award-winning feature is a reflection on time, history, and still and moving images. The works of Juan Rulfo and Samuel Beckett make their way into the captivating soundtrack, as the backdrop for a dialogue between Cándida and Ramón about all that is absent—the rain, a barking dog, and the son who went to war. While they sit in a hammock in a remote rural area of Paraguay during the Chaco War in the 1930s, life develops in static images and recursive themes that illustrate Encina’s view of Paraguay as “an island surrounded by land.”
New York: Feb. 10 - 12 at MoMA.