The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, programmed this year by Mahen Bonetti, founder and director of the African Film Festival, and Carlos Gutiérrez, cofounder of Cinema Tropical, focuses on the art of nonfiction film. In conjunction with this annual event, MoMA presents a selection of titles screened and discussed at the seminar. Director Mahamat Saleh Haroun’s (b. 1961) unique voice and cinematic vision, focused through the lens of a Third Cinema, challenge earlier notions of self and other, and exemplify the theme of this year’s Flaherty Seminar, South of the Other. Haroun left Chad during the civil war of the 1980s and made his way to Paris by way of Cameroon. He worked as a journalist for several years, studied film at the Conservatoire libre du Cinéma in Paris, and began making films set in Africa. His restraint in telling stories allows life to come through the lens, as seen in his award-winning short films and documentaries (The Dwarf, The Second Wife, Kalala). His feature films (Bye Bye, Africa; Our Father; Dry Season), which range from the lyrical to the political, elicit the flavors of Africa and allow the viewer to absorb the atmosphere.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film; in collaboration with Mahen Bonetti, founder and director of the African Film Festival; Carlos A. Gutiérrez, cofounder of Cinema Tropical; and Mary Kerr, Executive Director, The Robert Flaherty Seminars.