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AUTOETHNOGRAPHY AS DOCUMENTARY, in Association with the VIsual Studies Graduate Student Association

Thursday, April 22
McCormick Screening Room, HG 1070

5:30 p.m. Screening: PLASTIC FLOWERS NEVER DIE
Directed by Roxanne Varzi (U.S./Iran, 2008, 34 min., color, dvd)
In English and Persian with English subtitles

Followed by Q & A with director

6:30 p.m. Reception, Humanities Gateway Courtyard

Directed by Saki Mafundikwa (U.S./Zimbabwe, 2009, 54 min., color, Digibeta)
In English

Followed by Q & A with director


Anthropologist, writer and filmmaker Roxanne Varzi (UC Irvine Department of Anthropology and Department of Film & Media Studies) spent a year in Iran without a film permit speaking to ideologically driven mural painters, museum curators, war vets and other cultural producers along side the secular youth who were meant to consume the culture created by the government. The result is an experimental documentary mediation on the aftermath of the war, especially the mourning after. PLASTIC FLOWERS NEVER DIE was an Official Selection of the Fourth International Documentary Film Festival in Mexico City (2009), the New Filmmakers Festival in Los Angeles (2008), and the MESA FilmFest in Washington, D.C.(2008).

In SHUNGU: THE RESILIENCE OF A PEOPLE, Zimbabwean filmmaker and graphic designer Saki Mafundikwa explores his country's current political and economic crises by closely examining the lives of fellow Zimbabweans: a widow toils away in vain on her failing farm, a metalsmith cannot work without his tools and does not know if he will be able to support his third child, a doctor looks on despondently as health care goes from bad to worse. In addition to detailing this painful existence, Mafundikwa uses archive footage to throw light on British colonialism in his country, wars, the politics of Mugabe, and the opponents of the dictator, who hope to offer their country a better future. A selection of the 23rd International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, scheduled for November.

Program organized by Arden Stern, Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies.

Co-sponsored by the UC Irvine Humanities Collective, the Design Alliance, International Studies, Center for Ethnography, and Associated Graduate Students

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