The Flaherty Presents: Opacity

The Flaherty Presents: Opacity

10 Episodes

Each year the legendary Flaherty Film Seminar invites participants to reconsider their understanding of cinema through a rigorous program of thought-provoking, boundary-breaking works organized around a salient theme. Taking the notion of “Opacity”—defined as that which cannot be reduced by the dominant, supposedly “universal” Western gaze that shapes the film canon—as its starting point, this diverse and iridescent program curated by Janaína Oliveira brings together a chorus of voices from Brazil, Sudan, South Africa, and beyond in order to challenge viewers to look anew at the “opaque” singular experiences within moving-image art.

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The Flaherty Presents: Opacity
  • Africa, the Jungle, Drums and Revolution

    Episode 1

    Directed by Suliman Mohamed Ibrahim Elnour • 1979 • Soviet Union

    Sudanese director Suliman Mohamed Ibrahim Elnour’s diploma film from the VGIK film school in Moscow explores representations of Africa in Soviet society.

  • A Camel

    Episode 2

    Directed by Ibrahim Shaddad • 1981 • Sudan

    This short by Ibrahim Shaddad of the Sudanese Film Group is a report from the life of a camel, most of which plays out in a dreary, small room—a sesame mill.

  • . . . After He Left

    Episode 3

    Directed by Athi-Patra Ruga • 2008 • South Africa

    Clad in pink stilettos, fishnet stockings, and outré headgear, a mute figure wanders, alien-like, through the city.

  • Ghosts

    Episode 4

    Directed by André Novais Oliveira • 2010 • Brazil
    Starring Gabriel Martins, Maurílio Martins

    Two men chat casually on a rooftop—but not all is as it seems in this cryptic look at obsession in the age of video surveillance.

  • Public Service Announcement

    Episode 5

    Directed by Athi-Patra Ruga • 2014 • South Africa

    A stunning cosmic kaleidoscope of fluorescent, pixelated nature imagery is set to a dryly satirical lesson on the totalitarian, matriarchal political structure of the fictional republic of Azania.

  • Another Decade

    Episode 6

    Directed by Morgan Quaintance • 2018 • United Kingdom

    ANOTHER DECADE begins with testimonies and statements made by artists and art historians during the 1994 Institute of International Visual Arts conference “Towards a New Internationalism” to reveal the lack of sociocultural or institutional c...

  • America

    Episode 7

    Directed by Garrett Bradley • 2019 • United States

    Taking as its starting point the recently rediscovered Bert Williams feature LIME KILN CLUB FIELD DAY (1913)—the first known film to feature an all-Black cast—Garrett Bradley’s extraordinary new short imagines an entire lost lineage of African A...

  • Missing Time

    Episode 8

    Directed by Morgan Quaintance • 2019 • United Kingdom

    Through a focus on alien abduction, Cold War history, and Britain’s colonial legacy, MISSING TIME considers the relationship between amnesia, concealed histories, state secrecy, and the constitution of the self.

  • Dazed Flesh

    Episode 9

    Directed by Grace Passô and Ricardo Alves Jr. • 2019 • Brazil
    Starring Grace Passô, Zora Santos, Dona Jandira

    A wandering voice is able to invade any matter—solid, liquid, or gas—and it decides for the first time to invade a woman’s body. From this experience it narrates what it feels and what i...

  • Republic

    Episode 10

    Directed by Grace Passô • 2020 • Brazil
    Starring Grace Passô

    Made at home at the beginning of the 2020 quarantine in downtown São Paulo, Brazil, REPUBLIC reveals the necropolitics at play in a country in the midst of both a public health and political crisis.