Ballroom Marfa presents A Triptych of Films about Migration that consider the scale of human migration; the difficulties faced by migrants and asylum seekers; and the forces behind mass migration. The films include: El Mar La Mar, Island of the Hungry Ghosts, and Capernaum.
El Mar la Mar
El Mar La Mar, a Cinema Guild Production directed by Joshua Bonnetta & J.P. Sniadecki, explores collective experience, sensory ethnography, and pushes the boundary between cinema and anthropology. The film is an immersive journey through the Sonoran Desert on the U.S.-Mexico border and weaves together harrowing oral histories from the area with images of flora, fauna, and items left behind by travelers. Subjects speak of intense, mythic experiences in the desert and the trials they faced while crossing.
Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Island of Hungry Ghosts, directed by Australian filmmaker Gabrielle Brady, is a hybrid documentary that moves between migration in the natural world and the chaotic and tragic migration of humans, which is in constant flux due to veiled political policies . The film is set on Christmas Island – located off the shore of Australia near Java – where the Australian government sends and holds asylum seekers. The island is also inhabited by migratory crabs travelling in their millions from the jungle towards the ocean, in a movement that has been provoked by the full moon for millenia.
Capernaum, by Lebonese director Nadine Labaki, tells the story of Zain, a Lebanese boy played by Syrian refugee Zain al Rafeea, who sues his parents for the “crime” of giving him life. Capernaum was made with a cast of non-professional actors whose lives closely parallel their own. The film follows Zain as he flees his negligent parents, survives by his wits on the streets, and helps an Ethiopian refugee, and her baby son.
This program is made possible by the generous support of The Brown Foundation, Inc.; City of Marfa; Humanities Texas; Lebermann Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; and Ballroom Marfa members.