Friday, September 6, 2013

Another Special Screening

Next Thursday night, September 12, is the gala East Coast premiere of Fighting for Freedom to benefit Fairview Cinema 3, which is fighting to stay in business. Tomorrow night, September 7, there is another special benefit screening.

For the past nine years, Hudson filmmaker Isabel Barton has been working with Hortensia Berti, an indigenous woman in the Venezuelan Amazon, to help rescue her tribe's disappearing culture and language. In the film that developed from this collaboration, The Making of a Chief, Berti unravels the history of her tribe by piecing together stories of her great grandfather, a legendary chief whose teachings form the canon by which the Kamarakoto people live. Berti seeks out the elders in their mud huts at the edge of the Amazon forest, and their stories illustrate not only their indigenous traditions but also their serendipitous interaction with the American explorers who discovered and studied Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall on Earth, in the mid-20th century. The film is the first time these histories have been woven together.

The Making of a Chief is now in post-production, and Barton is raising money to complete the editing of the film. At Saturday's special fundraising screening, a finished segment of the film will be shown. Michael Royce, executive director of the New York Foundation for the Arts, will speak about the importance of such events by artists in the present economy, and Barton will answer questions about the film and the project.

The event takes place in Columbiaville, at 105 Footbridge Road Extension, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 7. The suggested donation is $50 a person. Email Barton to make a reservation.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't miss this screening for the world.

    In the early 1990s, after I watched Jim Fowler (of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom fame) speak with Charlie Rose about Fowler's new book, "Wildest Places on Earth," I became transfixed by the flora, fauna and landscapes of South America's "Roraima" region.

    What I didn't know until now, having just read Karen Angel's essay on her famous uncle - the discoverer of Angel Falls - was how much the American Museum of Natural History figured into this interwoven history of exploration, field science and interactions with - and studies of - that region's indigenous people.

    Most Westerners' first association with the region is Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World," published in 1912.

    But students of Frederic Edwin Church will think of Alexander von Humboldt instead, whose formative contribution to the very discipline of natural history in the early 19th c. was as inseparable from South America as Darwin's contribution was from the Galapagos.

    The degree to which Church's worldview and his expeditions were inspired by Humboldt was something I didn't fully appreciate until I moved to Hudson and visited Olana.

    Church will provide a rare, local frame of reference for anyone who plans to attend Isabel Barton's screening.