Cornell Cinema teams up with Cornell’s Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies to host Russian filmmaker Vladimir Kara-Murza on January 29. He will present his recent documentary Nemtsov, about the Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered in 2015 in what many consider an assassination, carried out in the interests of President Vladmir Putin. Two weeks later, the Department of Near Eastern Studies & the Jewish Studies Program bring filmmaker Eyal Sagui Bizawe to campus for a screening of his documentary Arab Movie, about the former Israeli tradition of watching the “Arab Movie of the Week,” an Egyptian melodrama or musical, on Friday afternoons. Both screenings will be offered for free.
On April 15, Cornell Cinema will host local percussionist and videomaker Sarah Hennies, who will present a free screening of her Contralto, a film that exists in between the spaces of experimental music and documentary. The piece features a cast of transgender women speaking, singing, and performing vocal exercises along with a music score for string quartet and three percussionists, who perform various sound-making actions using “non-musical” instruments such as paper, bowls of grains, office equipment, etc. April 26 brings the Ithaca premiere of El Mar la Mar, the first collaboration between film and sound artist Joshua Bonnetta (who teaches film at Ithaca College) and filmmaker/anthropologist J.P. Sniadecki, who formerly taught film production at Cornell. The film is “a lyrical and highly topical film in which the Sonoran Desert, among the deadliest routes taken by those crossing from Mexico to the United States, is depicted as a place of dramatic beauty and merciless danger. Haunting 16mm images of the unforgiving landscape and the human traces within it are supplemented with an intricate soundtrack of interwoven sounds and oral testimonies. Urgent yet never didactic, El Mar la Mar allows this symbolically fraught terrain to take shape in vivid sensory detail, and in so doing, suggests new possibilities for the political documentary.” (New York Film Festival) The screening is cosponsored with the Dept of Art.