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Two Films by Agustina Comedí: Out of the Silence

When:
Venue: Online

Two Films by Agustina Comedí: Out of the Silence.

Silence is a Falling Body, Argentina, 2017, 75 minutes

Playback, Argentina, 2019, 14 minutes

 

This programme presents two documentaries by Argentinian filmmaker Agustina Comedí and will be made available via the BIMI Screening Room here:

https://essayfilmfestival-screeningroom.com/22046157

Before a live discussion which will take place at 18:00 on Friday 3 December here:

https://eu.bbcollab.com/guest/ef17e803f98b45a5b73fad7dcf6cbb19

 

Combining found footage with real interviews, her work dives into the recent Argentinian history of the 70s, focusing on the period of repressive military dictatorship, the anti-communist ‘Dirty War’ and the AIDS crisis, whilst exploring the history of queer repression in Argentina.

Silence is a Falling Body (2017) is a 75-minute film made from homemade footage that Comedí discovered after her father's death. Unearthing a part of his life which had remained silent until then, Comedí reconstructs her father’s past by taking a deeper look into his private life and personal affairs before marrying her mother. By intervening directly into over 160 hours of private film material recorded by her father, she foregrounds different narratives through a highly personal process that led her to discover her father’s homosexuality and his communist militance. Through this creative process, she sheds light on the difficulties the queer communities face in Argentina, exposing the violence and oppression they experienced in recent years, as well as the extent to which political, military, and traditional family structures left certain people with no other option other than to hide their identities in a sexually repressed society.

The second film of the programme, Playback (2019) takes us to the La Piaf nightclub, where a group of transgender women and drag queens called ‘La Kallas’ have been performing since 1983 after the fall of the Argentinian military dictatorship. A place that welcomes self-expression and experimentation, La Piaf is safe haven for La Kallas. This short documentary follows the experiences of the last two survivors of the group, La Delphi, Comedí’s father’s last male partner, and La Colo, who died during the making of the film.

Playback reveals the disintegration of the community caused by the AIDS crisis, leaving them with neither the resources nor the capacity to stay together to survive. Their protest and strikes is what made their cause

visible to the rest of the city demonstrating the importance of performance as a political weapon against oppression.

This film uses, once again, archival film material, this time from La Delphi’s personal records with creative interventions by Comedí.


 

About the filmmaker

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Comedí worked first as a teacher and screenwriter. After completing her studies in Modern Literature, she started writing scripts for the national television in Argentina, whilst working with different filmmakers. In 2019, she won the Silver Condor Award for Best Documentary Film for her debut film Silence is a Falling Body. She is now currently working on her next film project.

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