OVID Announces the Exclusive Streaming Premiere of the Complete Filmography of the Eugenio Polgovsky
All Six Films by the Film maker, a Major Figure of Recent Latin American Cinema, Will Be Available Online Starting Thursday, May 13
OVID.tv, the curated streaming destination for documentary and art-house films from around the world, has announced the exclusive streaming premiere of the complete filmography by the late Mexican filmmaker Eugenio Polgovsky starting Thursday, May 13. Hailed as "one of the best documentary filmmakers of his generation” (Film at Lincoln Center) and a major figure of recent Latin American cinema, Polgovsky’s work was screened at numerous film festivals and prestigious institutions including Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Berlinale, Cinéma du Réel, Morelia, the Museum of Modern Art, the Flaherty Film Seminar, and Film at Lincoln Center. An influential and accomplished director, photographer, and cinematographer, Polgovsky focused attention on issues of social justice, environmentalism, and class inequality. He used innovative and lyrical visual language combined with an intricate sound design and a masterful use of editing to construct powerful narratives, exploring new possibilities of expression in cinema. Polgovsky’s 2004 debut documentary Tropic of Cancer, won prizes around the world, including an Ariel for Best First documentary by the Mexican Academy of Film, the Joris Ivens Prize at Cinema du Réel, Best Documentary in Lebanon, Korea, Morelia, Mexico City Contemporary Film Festival (FICCO) and more. It also had a special screening at Cannes Critics’ Week and was part of the Frontier selection at the Sundance Film Festival. The Museum of Modern Art in New York presented the film as one of the region’s most innovative contemporary films as part of the series “In Focus: Cinema Tropical.” Polgovsky's feature The Inheritors (2008), which he directed, photographed, and edited, made its world premiere at the 65th edition of the Venice Film Festival and was the first documentary to compete in the Generation Kplus section at the Berlinale. The film, which chronicles the exploitative labor of children in the Mexican countryside, was the winner of two Ariel Awards for Best Documentary and Best Editing, as well as the prizes for Best Documentary at the Havana Film Festival and the Chile's FIDOCS festival. A New York Times Critics’ Pick, the film was hailed as "a dusty poem... [an] unvarnished portrait of the rural poor in modern-day Mexico.” Polgovsky’s 2012 medium-length Mitote is a playful portrait of Mexico City's main square, contrasting a shaman's mystical invocations, a protest of angry electricians on a hunger strike, and a euphoric football crowd watching the World Cup games. His last two productions, A Leap of Life (2013), winner of the Ariel Award for Best Short Documentary Film, and the feature length Resurrection (2016), were about the rescue of a polluted river in Mexico and the survival of a contiguous village, respectively. He also worked as one of the cinematographers on Hubert Sauper’s award-winning documentary We Come as Friends (2014).
"[An] award-winning Mexican documentary filmmaker best known for chronicling the struggles of the indigenous population, often against the backdrop of an indifferent society." —The Washington Post “The films of Eugenio Polgovsky are an admirable collection of atoms in movement. He works with breath: his camera speaks without explanation, like a pencil in the air, moving from description to action. His films are a treasure trove, a package full of actions.” —Patricio Guzmán, filmmaker
About the director: Eugenio Polgovsky (1977–2017) was an independent filmmaker and cinematographer. Born in Mexico City, he studied directing and cinematography at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC), graduating cum laude. He won the UNESCO world photography contest "Living Together" in 1994, and the National Youth Award in Mexico in 2004. Polgovsky was the author of the feature films Tropic of Cancer, The Inheritors, Mexican Ritual, Resurrection and the short film A Leap of Life. He founded the production company Tecolote Films, and his work was screened at numerous international film festivals including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, Morelia. He was recipient of numerous international awards, including four Mexican Academy Ariel Awards, and the Joris Ivens prize in the Festival Cinema du Réel in 2005.
For more information, request screeners of the films for review, please contact Pilar Dirickson Garrett, Cinema Tropical, at email@example.com
Complete Filmography: Resurrection (Resurrección 2016, 93 min.) The once-paradisiacal waterfall of "El Salto de Juanacatlán" in Jalisco used to be known as the "Mexican Niagara”, a source of pleasure and sustenance for the villages surrounding it. This natural idyll was heavily polluted when an industrial corridor was established across the Santiago River. Today as these poisonous waters contaminate everything in their path, the local fishermen and farmers become witnesses to the disappearance of their own world. In Resurrection, families fight for survival, risking their lives to pursue their dream of the return of a lost Eden. The destiny of a river goes hand in hand with that of a village, and of humanity itself. Lightbyrinth (2016, 7 min.) 21st-century digital technology meets 19th-century animation in this homage to eminent physicist James C. Maxwell. Filmed in Cambridge using his original zoetrope, the film conjures a sense of wonder at early image-making processes. The intricate editing and sound design create a joyful dance of lights and bodies. Success (2014, 3 min.) This short film presents a dystopian vision of urban life in which the celebration of high-finance rewrites the topography of the city, while landscapes and indigenous cultures have been entrapped by a hyperbolic visual regime. Mexican Ritual (Mitote, 2012, 54 min.) A shaman’s mystical rituals, furious electricians on hunger strike and a euphoric football crowd collide in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s central square, the ancient ceremonial heart of the Aztec empire. The documentary essay Mitote (Nahuatl for chaos or celebration) portrays the square as a wrestling ring in which the fervor of nationalism melds past and present, rage and celebration. The Inheritors (Los herederos, 2008, 90 min.) An immersion into the daily lives of rural children who, with their families, survive only by their unrelenting labor. As they harvest food, weave textiles, shepherd animals, collect wood, make bricks, and look after their siblings, children appear not as subjects of first-world pity but as curious, jolly, diligent, and caring beings. Like Buñuel’s Los Olvidados, these child workers are captive in a cycle of inherited poverty. They are also inheritors of knowledge, tools and techniques of labor. Tropic of Cancer (Trópico de Cáncer, 2004, 52 min.) Polgovsky’s stunning debut immerses the viewer in the impoverished lives of families in the arid desert region of San Luis Potosi in Mexico (situated on the global parallel known as Tropic of Cancer), who survive by selling plants and animals to motorists by the side of a thunderous superhighway leading to the United States. The film brings together handheld images of searing potency, crafting an up-close, near-wordless visual essay on the human capacity to adapt to the most adverse circumstances.