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Araya + Introduction
Institute of Contemporary Arts
February 2023
A person with shoulder-length hair stares off at two young kids running up a sandy hill
Araya, dir. Margot Benacerraf, Venezuela 1959, 90 min., Spanish with English subtitles, 15

A landmark work of Latin American feminist cinema and the only feature by pioneering documentarian Margot Benacerraf, Araya is a poetic, unsentimental and visually arresting look at life in the late 1950s on Venezuela’s Araya Peninsula, where generations of labourers depended on mining the arid region’s salt pans for their livelihood. As industrial mechanisation threatens to eradicate this way of life, Benacerraf follows the families of three such salineros, capturing the strain of their work amid this breathtaking but harsh landscape. 

Despite the film winning the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes in 1959, it was 18 years before the film was screened in Venezuela. Its distributors convinced that the country was ‘not ready’ for it. Although embraced by artists and audiences, the film eventually disappeared into a cultural black hole until it was recently rediscovered, remastered and reissued by Milestone Film & Video – and now screens at the ICA as part of Women’s Stories from the Global South (& To Whom They Belong).

This screening is preceded by a curator's introduction by Lorena Pino Montilla.
Lorena Pino Montilla is a film curator/programmer from Caracas, Venezuela, based in the South West, where she works for FilmBath Festival, Cinema Rediscovered and Trowbridge Town Hall. Since moving to the UK she has been working to integrate through community work, education and cinema. During the last five years she has been organising film events connecting with people from different backgrounds and minorities living in Wiltshire/North Somerset. She has brought the name of pioneering filmmaker Margot Benacerraf and her restored film, Araya to Cinema Rediscovered as a way to promote Latin American cinematography and honour the tireless work of Benacerraf promoting film culture in the region and beyond.
04:30 pm
Sun, 23 Oct 2022
Cinema 1

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

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