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Birkbeck academic premieres film at prestigious international film festival

Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra has been featured as a “rising star” by the BFI’s Sight and Sound magazine.

Photo of Mara Polvosky Ezcurra
Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra

Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra, Lecturer in the Department of History of Art, recently premiered her film, Malintzin 17, at the Tiger Competition of International Film Festival, Rotterdam 

Mara’s film explores how nature is forced to adapt to human infrastructure by documenting a turtle dove nesting on a power line for seven days and nights. The late Mexican filmmaker Eugenio Polgovsky filmed the bird from his second-floor apartment in Mexico City in 2016. Together with his five-year-old daughter, Milena, Eugenio captured life going by from the balcony. In doing so they shared endearing conversations about humans’ relationships with the environment and the very nature of filmmaking. Mara, Eugenio’s sister, found this material after Eugenio’s passing, aged 40, and carefully edited it into a film. 

Mara commented: The film’s title refers both to the address in Mexico City where the film was shot, located in the historic Coyoacan neighbourhood, and to the name of Hernan Cortés mistress, who served as translator between the Spanish and Indigenous worlds. In the making of this film, I felt like a translator between the world of the living and the world of the dead”.  

Last week, the film premiered in Greece, France, and Mexico. Mara recently featured in the April issue of the Sight and Sound magazine as a "Rising Star".

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