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Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 pm

Memories of a Penitent Heart

Discussion following the screening with filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo

‘exceptional … the best of Tribeca’ —Village Voice

‘one of the most viscerally effective and emotionally devastating documentaries of 2016’ —Audiences Everywhere

‘incredible … overall perfection’ — The Independent

Combining a wealth of recently discovered home movies, video, and written documents with artfully shot contemporary interviews and vérité footage, MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART is a documentary that cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama. Originating from filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo’s suspicion that there was something ugly in her family’s past, the film charts her excavation of the buried family conflict around her uncle Miguel’s death, and her search for Miguel’s partner Robert a generation later. After two years of dead ends, Robert turns up: but he’s not the same man. He’s reinvented himself as Father Aquin, a Franciscan monk with twenty- five years of pent-up grief and bitterness. For the first time, a member of Miguel’s family wants to hear Aquin’s side of the story—but is it too little, too late? A story about the mistakes of the past and the second chances of the present, MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART is a cautionary tale about the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS, and a nuanced exploration of how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.

“MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART straddles a lot of divides—between art and social justice, between past and present, between the personal and the global. I’m making this film because I see the story of what happened in my family as a cautionary tale; there are thousands of similar stories buried across the world. I want viewers to see that bigotry doesn’t always look like a hate crime: often, it looks like blind love.”


Memories of a Penitent Heart

77 min., 2016

77 min

Cecilia Aldarondo holds an M.A. from Goldsmiths College and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, and is Assistant Professor of Film at Skidmore College. Her award-winning personal documentary MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART had its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 and will broadcast nationally on POV in 2017. A co-production of POV, Latino Public Broadcasting, and ITVS, MEMORIES has received additional support from the MacDowell Colony, the Sundance Institute, Jerome Foundation, Firelight Media, and New York State Council on the Arts, among others. In 2015 Aldarondo was selected for IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs and Sundance Institute’s Edit and Story Lab, and was the winner of the 2015 Paley DocPitch. Aldarondo was the inaugural recipient of the Roberto Guerra Documentary Award in 2015, was named by FILMMAKER Magazine as one of 2015’s ‘25 New Faces of Independent Film,’ and is a 2017 Women at Sundance Fellow.

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General Admission$10.002017.05.18 - Memories of a Penitent Heart

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Thursday, May 18
7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
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BROOKLYN, NY 11211 United States
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