Become an ICA Member or gift it to someone you love
0 / 256
El Mar La Mar + Q&A
Institute of Contemporary Arts
August 2022
El Mar La Mar, Dir. Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki, USA, 2017, 95 min.

El Mar La Mar sits between experimental anthropological essay and imagistic film poem. The 16mm footage deliberately overwhelms with open space, massive skies and landscapes shimmering in deathly heat. The meticulous sound design focuses on desert winds and the nocturnal sounds of venomous insects, deadly snakes and predatory mountain lions. At times, migrants’ and residents’ voiceover emerges from a completely black screen, telling of getting lost, discovering a body or taking in a shivering migrant. Other voices chillingly describe the desert in dark, psychedelic terms or invoke mythical monsters. The desert’s distortion of reality can be fatal; migrants often lose their way and wander in circles until they are picked up by border patrols or die. Captured on screen, El Mar La Mar’s building dread attempts to drive home the horror of a five-day desert crossing undertaken on foot.

Alongside the theatrical cut of El Mar La Mar the ICA will also be screening a new sound and video version of the work for the first time as it was originally conceived as an installation work installed in the ICA Theatre from 2 – 10 August.
08:40 pm
Thu, 02 Aug 2018
Cinema 1
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Joshua Bonnetta.

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated.

Red Members gain unlimited access to all exhibitions, films, talks, performances and Cinema 3.
Join today for £20/month.