Once you finish watching BirriLata: una vuelta en tren, you cannot but breathe with satisfaction and rejoice for the existence of this tribute to the tireless "activist of images”, Fernando Birri. Set in the Santa Fe that watched him grow, during the preparation of the shooting of his film El Fausto criollo, the documentary takes us through different places and times of the Latin America the director of Los Inundados dedicated his life to.
How to deny the importance of the Film Institute at the National University of the Littoral -founded by Birri in 1956– and what it meant for so many young people. As Dolly Pussi states, those young people from the 60s demanded a "social and political cinema, because the times called for the determination to assume a commitment”. That is a characteristic of the director of Tire Dié: an absolute commitment with a life that struggles against injustice, and that gets reassured in each of his educational projects and in his entire filmography.
Lorena Yenni narrates from her very soul the journey of the iconic director, and she does so with the testimonies of those who shared with him the New Latin American Cinema and with the testimonies of those who live at Centro Cultural Fernando Birri. There, in that place connected with the homonymous organization he tried to set up at the Ferrocarril Mitre station –abandoned due to the dismantling during the 90s-, the example of a man who always tried to give voice to the world’s helpless is stilled vindicated.
"So that utopia’s place, which, by definition, is 'nowhere', may be somewhere”.
One of the most touching scenes of the film is the moment of the founding of the International Film and TV School in Cuba in 1986. There, between jokes with Fidel and the opening made by Gabriel García Márquez, Fernando Birri accomplishes the victory of having materialized the "struggle through images to set our continent free”, and he opens that emerging institution "so that utopia’s place, which, by definition, is 'nowhere', may be somewhere”.
That utopia is not just in that place. It is also embodied by those who follow Birri’s and his Escuela de Santa Fe’s path and see cinema as a powerful tool for activism. It is no coincidence that Los inundados from 1962 reincarnates in Inundados by Ojo Obrero in 2003, as it is no coincidence that in El Fausto criollo participated film students that define themselves as "the grandchildren of Tire Dié”; as it is also no coincidence that in this 30° Edition, these classic films are screened: it is the acknowledgement of that "lunatic” who will always belong to the "group of stupid dreamers who want to change the world until the end of the world”.
MON 2 5.10 pm, PAS 2
TUE 3 2.30 pm, PAS 2
WEN 4, 11.50 am, PAS 2