News & Events, Fall 2017

Friday 10/20/2017


Quijote Talk: Alex Fattal

November 9, 6:30pm
132 West 21st Street, 6th Floor

For our third Quijote Talk, join us for a screening of Suenos (a work-in-progress), an experimental film by anthropologist and filmmaker Alex Fattal, of Penn State. Filmed in the back of a truck acting as a pin-hole camera, this extraordinary 30-minute film portrays the soul-crippling nightmares and subsequent shamanic cure of a Colombian FARC gunman in his own words. Not least in importance is the sense of guilt that killing creates and the magical curing thereof.

Followed by conversation between Fattal and author Michael Taussig.

This experimental short film, a work-in-progress, is a surrealist portrait of a former guerrilla fighter from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Alex, who abandoned the rebels after fourteen years of fighting with them, reflects on the trajectory of his life. He tells of a troubled youth, his decision to join the movement, trials within the Marxist insurgency, and his decision to leave and return to civilian life. The route of his narrative takes place as he moves incognito through Bogotá in a dark, mysterious space where the world appears upside down. It is an oneiric, psychoanalytic, even confessional space. Locked in the payload of a truck transformed into a camera obscura, the film’s form places viewers face to face with someone who has wandered between the worlds of perpetrator and victim, the guerrilla and civilian life, conflicts and their aftermaths. The intimate, upside down mise-en-scène reveals visions and insights into the struggles of Fattal’s conscience and the legacies of war.

QUIJOTE TALKS take place in our library on 21st Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues in Chelsea, usually on Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Named after our favorite after-lecture hangout, El Quijote in the Chelsea Hotel, and inspired by the knight errant himself, this new series consists of pointed talks and discussions about relevant pasts and possible futures.

Check out our full lecture series archive, including this semester's first Quijote Talk featuring The Brooklyn Rail publisher Phong Bui, here