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A Family in History: Nicaragua Reframed + Q&A with Susan Meiselas
Institute of Contemporary Arts
A young Nicaraguan boy is injected with a needle by a doctor
Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family, dir. Susan Meisalas, Alfred Gizzette & Richard Rogers, USA 1985, 59 min.

Embarking on a journey across years, this screening showcases a multifaceted portrayal of a Nicaraguan family who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of revolutionary ideals for social transformation. The two films introduce us to the lives of five brothers and sisters through their work in medicine, community organising and agricultural reform while returning after two centuries to trace back the multigenerational struggle to find ways to live and work according to their political aspirations

Living at Risk is a valuable, effective documentary that provides a dimension lacking in other films about the current Nicaraguan crisis: a sense of the fabric of everyday life, of the ways in which perpetual danger and pressure are incorporated into the ongoing vital routines of doing one’s job, raising one’s family, going to market, finding entertainment, treating the sick, feeding the hungry. In other words, Living at Risk is about real people and issues, not political abstractions. Subtitled ‘The Story of a Nicaraguan Family’, the film centers on five brothers and sisters, middle class supporters of the Sandinista regime, who are involved in various professional capacities: medicine, community organising, farm administration. Level-headed and deeply felt, Living at Risk conveys above all an impression of quiet, believable heroism, most vividly in a dramatic sequence of a doctor delivering a vaccine to a remote village where his predecessor was recently executed by the Contras.

Once part of Nicaragua’s elite, the Barrios family is now divided in response to the revolution that has shorn them of their ancient privilege. Most of the children now work for the government or FSLN whilst the older generation remains distanced, awaiting a change of regime. Their frank conversations offer another perspective on post-revolutionary life in Nicaragua.


Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family, 1985, 59 min.

UK PREMIERE The Barrios Family 25 Years Later, 2011, 7 min.

Followed by a Q&A with Susan Meiselas.
06:30 pm
Tue, 27 Jun 2023
Cinema 1

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