AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

4/2/09

Oblivion [El Olvido]: Funny, Yet Sad, And Beautiful

Heddy Honigmann, Director:

"All my films are about fighters, people putting up resistance. Against oblivion and loss"

Oblivion is no exception.

Heddy Honigmann's extraordinary ability to capture the essence of her subjects, the layer upon layer of meaning, of progression from one moment to the next, her images that speak volunms to the narrative, spoken frankly, often emotionally, always directly into the camera and into our hearts and our minds creating an impression that lingers. I feel as if I know these people. I am there with the camera talking, listening, learning and laughing. This film has humor. It is not depressing, It is illuminating and that is what makes it so enjoyable, so worthwhile.

By the end of the documentary I am almost convinced that I now know the history of Peru, a brief history, not going all the way back but the history that spans the latter 1900's into 2000; the history of corruption, of insidious poverty side by side, moment by moment of footage.

Oblivion chronicles the life of a people who somehow find a way to survive, to keep going even as their ranks swell into the millions of inhabitants in Lima and the politicians, the men in charge continue to be baboons, murders, the worst of human kind. The use of food as a way to learn the customs, the way of life in Peru is wonderful.

And the children!

Heddy Honigmann brings the children into focus again and again. They are, for the most part, happy with little to nothing of their own. Education is not within their grip and yet, they survive seemingly without anger. They toil with a smile, they beg with a casual acceptance of being ignored. It is almost as if the entire notion of failure escapes them.

This is a film that brings life in Lima Peru into our hearts and minds, a work of distinction that only Heddy Honigmann could do with such aplomb.

http://www.heddy-honigmann.nl/hhonigmann/films/elolvido
Opens April 15th at Film Forum in New York City.

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

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