Progress and Displacement

In the most remote parts of the world where the bull­doz­ers con­tin­ue to push ahead in the name of so-called progress, those people who are affect­ed the most are the few remain­ing, intact farm­ing cul­tures and indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties. This the­mat­ic focus takes us to the high­est regions of Colom­bia and the Pampas of north­ern Brazil, where we encounter obvi­ous oppo­sites. While the indige­nous people in Colom­bia wear white hand-woven cloth­ing, this is a stark con­trast to the indus­tri­al, worn out denim clothes mass-pro­duced in a town in Brazil. Yet this tex­tile dif­fer­ence alone demon­strates the loss of cul­tur­al diver­si­ty. What is won by ‘progress’? What is lost? The Arhua­co in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the north of Colom­bia have been defend­ing their tra­di­tion­al way of life for cen­turies. Now, there are only a few of them left, yet they insist on main­tain­ing their cul­ture and their self-deter­mi­na­tion. THINKING LIKE A MOUNTAIN by Alexan­der Hick is a cin­e­mato­graph­ic mon­u­ment to these people. Ivan Boccara’s PASTORALES shows what already hap­pened in Europe more than one hun­dred years ago. In … read more


Ivan Boccara
Morocco 2017 | 93 min | engl. subtitled
Sat, 01-Jun-19 03:00 PM
Q&A with: Ivan Boccara
For cen­turies, the Berbers in the Middle and High Atlas Moun­tains have been sub­sist­ing on farm­ing and rais­ing cattle. How­ev­er, they are no longer able to make a living from … read more

Thinking like a Mountain

Alexander Hick
Columbia, Germany 2018 | 93 min | engl. subtitled
Fri, 31-May-19 03:30 PM
Sat, 01-Jun-19 10:00 PM
Q&A with: Alexander Hick
The Arhua­co live in the high­est moun­tains of Colom­bia. They wear their tra­di­tion­al white clothes as they have for many cen­turies and main­tain their cul­ture and spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, which is tight­ly … read more

Waiting for the Carnival

Marcelo Gomes
Brazil 2018 | 89 min | engl. subtitled
Sat, 01-Jun-19 08:00 PM

The small town of Tori­ta­ma in the barren land­scape of north-east­ern Brazil has declared itself the “cap­i­tal do jeans.” Mil­lions of pairs of jeans are made there every year, most of them in small fac­to­ries run by fam­i­lies who are proud of their inde­pen­dence, which is really self-exploita­tion. While search­ing for child­hood mem­o­ries of this place, the direc­tor cannot escape the cease­less clat­ter of the sewing machines, which are silent only once a year, when every­one drives to the coast to cel­e­brate car­ni­val. The inhab­i­tants once made a poor living from agri­cul­ture and sell­ing their goods. Today, the indus­tri­al growth of the emerg­ing nation of Brazil promis­es pros­per­i­ty and well­be­ing. How­ev­er, this seems doubt­ful in light of the drudgery that man­u­fac­tur­ing jeans requires. In the days before car­ni­val, many fridges and tele­vi­sions are taken to the pawnbroker’s, so their owners can pay for the amuse­ment on the coast.

The film does not judge. Instead, Marce­lo Gomes gives the people free rein in front of and with the camera. He shows the work­ing con­di­tions and life today and com­pares these with his mem­o­ries. His essay­is­tic approach cre­ates many mag­i­cal and real moments that reveal the price that is being paid for pro­duc­tion in the name of progress.