Sep 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm
The Still Life of Harley Prosper
with Juan Manuel Sepúlveda, Lindsey Cordero & Armando Croda
We are excited to welcome Juan Manuel Sepúlveda to present his most recent feature, The Still Life of Harley Prosper co-presented with Latin Film Reel.
An esteemed cinematographer, Sepúlveda takes the documentary interview to a new extreme, in this claustrophobic exploration of the mind of a dying man escaping his legacy as the spiritual conscience of his Native American community. Sepúlveda traces his protagonists struggle to come to terms with a quickly approaching death, his struggle with addiction, and the reliance of others on those who can no longer provide.
Prosper wanted to leave a testimony of this struggle, and his family, Cree Nation people from the plains, have almost disappeared. Sepulveda writes “He has something very important to tell me and it will be better if I bring the camera. A film starts developing as a testimonial account of a man who was chosen to become the medicine man of his community and who decided to deny his responsibility… during three weeks, day and night, Harley and I made a film about the fascinating path of a man who keeps prolonging his sacred mission until the last moment.”
The Still Life of Harvey Prosper will be screened alongside an excerpt from Armando Croda and Lindsey Cordero’s feature documentary El Indio Sabe, which follows José Juárez, a mystic healer and cultural activist, who runs a botanica in North Jersey. After living in the US for more than two decades, he’s decided it’s time to go back home to his motherland in the mountains of Puebla. His reasons for leaving aren’t economic nor does he have a family waiting for him back home. One night, in a vivid dream, José saw the destruction of the earth, the Totonac Goddess Shkuyúchat appeared to tell him he must return to Mexico and perform a ritual inside a sacred cave or else the earth as we know it will suffer irreparable consequences.
We’re delighted to have Juan Manuel Sepúlveda in attendance for a conversation with filmmakers Armando Croda and Lindsey Cordero following the program.
The Still Life of Harley Prosper
65 min., 2018
Juan Manuel Sepúlveda
As a child, Harley Prosper was appointed to become the traditional healer of his community, a Cree village in the plains of central Canada. When he grew up, Harley rejected his responsibility and ran away to Vancouver where he sunk into an abyss of alcoholism, defying the Spirit who had chosen him. Now in his early 30s and confined in a hospice for the terminally ill, the film follows Harley’s daily ritual as he confronts the inner voices that constantly remind him that it is impossible to escape his destiny. And even less so, his history.
El Indio Sabe
6 min (Excerpt), 2019, Lindsey Cordero & Armando Croda
“El Indio Sabe (The indian knows)” is a feature documentary that follows José Juárez, a mystical healer and cultural activist, who owns a botanica in North Jersey, where he serves the immigrant community providing spiritual guidance and mystical healing rituals. He has an independent radio show where he talks about pre hispanic philosophy and how it transcends into contemporary social and political issues among the Mexican community.
Juan Manuel Sepúlveda is a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer. In 2006 he received the Ariel Award from the Mexican Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his documentary UNDER THE GROUND. In 2008, THE INFINITE BORDER, his debut film, was selected to participate in the Berlin International Film Festival, and also won the Joris Ivens Award at the International Documentary Film Festival, Cinema du Réel in Paris. He was cinematographer on the film LEAP YEAR, which won the Caméra d´Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. He won the Best Documentary Short Award at the 2011 Cinema du Réel Festival in Paris, with the film THE STRANGE SOUND OF THE LAND BEING OPENED IN A FURROW. His third feature film, THE BALLAD OF OPPENHEIMER PARK was selected at FICCI and Cinéma du Réel. His most recent project THE SHADOW OF THE DESERT is participating in Pitching du Réel 2018. His documentary THE STILL LIFE OF HARLEY PROSPER screened at Cartagena IFF 2018 and will have its international premiere at Visions du Réel 2018.
Originally from Mexico, Armando Croda has been working in art and film in the US, Europe and Mexico for the past 15 years. He recently premiered his documentary “I’m Leaving Now (Ya me voy)” at Hot Docs 2018. He is currently editing the documentary “Out of Many, One” (2018) for Netflix by John Hoffman and Nanfu Wang. Edited the documentary “Jay Myself” (2018) on the iconic New York City photographer Jay Maisel. He edited the three channel documentary “Two Meetings and a Funeral“ (2017) by Naeem Mohaiemen. He edited the feature documentary “Samantha and her Amazing Acrocats” (2017) by Jacob Fiering. He was additional cinematographer and editor of the documentary “Havana Motor Club” (2015) by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, about Cuba’s top drag racers and their quest to hold the first official race since the revolution that premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Co-director, cinematographer and editor of the tv documentary “Firmes, Mexicans in the Bronx” (2013) for Nat Geo Latino, about undocumented Immigrants who have left the gang life behind and formed a Lowrider car club on the East Coast. Armando also completed the feature film, “Victorio” (2008) as co-director and editor, which was awarded Opera Prima at the Guanajuato Film Festival, and screened in various festivals in Europe and Latin America, including Valencia, Huelva, St. Petersburg, Havana and selected for the Human Right competition in Bilbao film festival.
Lindsey Cordero is a Mexican filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Cordero’s work focuses mainly on immigration, survival and identity of undocumented Mexicans living in New York. She is director of the documentary I’M LEAVING NOW (Ya Me Voy) which is world premiering at Hot Docs April, 2018. Cordero is producer of the feature film EN EL SEPTIMO DIA (2017) written and directed by Jim McKay, which had its international at the 2017 Locarno Film Festival and will be released in theaters June, 2018. She worked as additional editor and sound mixer on the documentary feature HAVANA MOTOR CLUB (2015) directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films. She is co-director of the TV documentary FIRMES, MEXICANS IN THE BRONX (Nat Geo Latino, 2013) about a group of Mexican undocumented immigrants who left the gang life behind and formed a Lowrider car club in the Bronx, NY. Cordero received the 2015 Princess Grace Film Honorarium for her film I’M LEAVING NOW (Ya Me Voy). She holds a Bachelor Degree in Anthropology and an MFA at from the Integrated Media Arts program at Hunter College of The City University of New York.