The Harvard Film Archive is pleased to welcome back Paz Encina, now as a 2022-23 Radcliffe/Film Study Center Fellow. Encina will be joined in conversation with David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Visiting Scholar Cecilia Barrionuevo and HFA Director Haden Guest.
Paz Encina (b. 1970) has created a series of spellbinding and visually striking films, all set in her native Paraguay and powerfully meditating on memory, history and the passage of different levels of time—personal, historic, natural. Encina’s latest film EAMI is a moving and sensitive portrait of the indigenous Ayoreo Totobiegosode people, among the last tribes living in isolation in the Amazon but now threatened by rampant and illegal deforestation of their ancestral lands. Told from the point of view of the eponymous hero, a young boy who is perhaps also the incarnation of a bird-god, EAMI embraces the style and structure of indigenous storytelling, with the boy’s incantatory narrative intertwined with other tribal voices and perspectives. By blending lyrical ethnography and mythopoetic narrative, Encina crafts a richly textured immersion into the Ayoreo Totobiegosode imagination that never attempts to explain or render their culture fully accessible, but instead seeks to give it intimate voice and dignity. Winner of the prestigious Tiger Award at the 2022 Rotterdam International Film Festival, EAMI is an exemplary work of compassionate cinema.