Varsity 5 Friday, April 13, 2018 - 3:30 PM  add this block to your calendar
América
América / While I yet Live
Documentary Feature
76 minutes
2018
Director(s): Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside
USA
 
Synopsis
Oregon Premiere

Diego, a stilt walker in a Mexican tourist town, returns home after his 93-year-old grandmother, América, falls out of bed. Reunited with his circus performer brothers, Rodrigo and Bruno, the three young men try to rehabilitate their grandmother and free their father after he was unfairly jailed for elder neglect. Diego is a dreamer who sees poetry and purpose in this crisis. He believes América, despite her immobility and advanced dementia, fell willfully, to reunite the separated family. But Diego’s dream of family cohesion is challenged when the brothers clash over money, communication, and the weight of caring for América full-time. This remarkably intimate documentary brings us all a little closer to what it takes to care for our loved ones. Subtitles 
 
Directors’ Statement

Before we met América, we were looking for stories in Mexico that illuminated the rich and contradictory relationship it shares with the United States. We imagined a film about borders, tourism, and inequality—concepts in keeping with the issue-focused shorts we’d made prior. The idea that we would end up spending years following a family of three brothers taking care of their grandmother in a small city in southwestern Mexico was inconceivable. But upon witnessing the special relationship between Diego and his grandmother, we were moved to commit ourselves to telling this story of family and conflict, life and death— in some ways a smaller film than we had planned, in others much bigger. 
While I yet Live
América / While I yet Live
Documentary Short
15 minutes
2018
Director(s): Maris Curran
USA
 
Synopsis
Oregon Premiere

From the director of Five Nights in Maine (AIFF2016) and The Man is the Music (AIFF2017), comes a new film that follows five acclaimed quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Accompanying shots of their exquisite work, we listen to these renowned African-American women sing spirituals and talk about love, religion, and the fight for civil rights as they continue the tradition of quilting that brought them all together. 
Director’s Statement 
In creating a documentary about five quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, I set out to show how individual and collective history is passed down through the art and tradition of quilting. The women in the film articulate the joys of their lives as well as the struggles—both systemic and individual. And they emphasize an overarching theme of love—familial love, love of community, self-love—and love articulated through the process of quilting.