Program 2: Free Radicals

  • Currents
Last Chance to Rent Sep 28, 8:00 PM ET

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Featuring Akosua Adoma Owusu’s King of Sanwi, Simon Liu & Jennie MaryTai Liu’s - force -, Suneil Sanzgiri’s Letter From Your Far-Off Country, Shobun Baile’s Trust Study #1, and Riccardo Giacconi’s Ekphrasis.

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Program Features

Shorts Program 2: Free Radicals Intro

An introduction by Eugene Hernandez and Tyler Wilson.

King of Sanwi

Akosua Adoma Owusu, 2020, USA/Ghana

A companion piece to Pelourinho: They Don’t Really Care About Us (Projections 2019), King of Sanwi continues Akosua Adoma Owusu’s exploration of Michael Jackson as a global pop icon. Here, Michael’s long affinity with the African continent—from the Jackson 5’s arrival in Senegal in 1974 to Michael’s coronation as an Ivorian king in 1992—is captured in vibrant, fuzzy archival video, made visceral by Owusu’s funky audiovisual collage and richly material direct animation effects.

- force -

Simon Liu & Jennie MaryTai Liu, 2020, Hong Kong/USA

Placid views of Hong Kong merge with dizzying, semi-abstract digital animations—avatars in a parable about control. A mesmerizing, menacing voiceover—part body politic regulator, part cyberpunk travel guide—both promises order, accountability, and satisfaction, and threatens trouble, polarization, and tears. A fire has been started, movement has gone on to reach multiple points of no return.

Letter From Your Far-off Country

Suneil Sanzgiri, 2020, USA/India, In English, Hindi, and Urdu with English subtitles

Drawing upon a rich repository of images—from digital renderings of Kashmir’s mountains to the textured materiality of 16mm hand-processing and direct animation techniques — Letter From Your Far-off Country maps a hidden vein of shared political commitment and diasporic creative expression, linking a poem by the Kashmiri American writer Agha Shahid Ali, interviews with the filmmaker’s father, and a letter addressed to Prabhakar Sanzgiri, a leader of India’s Communist party and a distant relative of the filmmaker.

Trust Study #1

Shobun Baile, 2020, USA, With English and Urdu captions

Hawala, an ancient informal money transfer system, is a subject of a dialogue unfolding in silence via onscreen text, against the backdrop of lurid off-set color images from an old Pakistani tourist guide. During Operation Green Quest, a post-911 investigation by U.S. intelligence into terrorist financing sources, the transit of people and money demanded new conduits of trust, new modes of encryption. Sometimes the unofficial route is more reliable.


Riccardo Giacconi, 2019, Italy

Extending the artist’s research into the complex genealogy of South Tyrol, a province that’s home to Italy’s German-speaking population, Riccardo Giacconi’s film offers a minute, zoomed-in examination of historical photographs, uncovering the markers of an insidious ideological undercurrent—sometimes oblique, sometimes overt—sustained through neo-fascist symbolism, rituals, and terrorist activity into the present.

Shorts Program 2: Free Radicals Q&A

A conversation between Tyler Wilson and directors Akosua Adoma Owusu (King of Sanwi), Simon Liu, Jennie MaryTai Liu (- force -), Suneil Sanzgiri (Letter from Your Far-Off Country), Shobun Baile (Trust Study #1) and Riccardo Giacconi (Ekphrasis).

Bonus Content

58th New York Film Festival Trailer
Preview 25 days of the best in world cinema.
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