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Thursday 9 June

‘Documentary, politics, poetics: Joris Ivens and his legacy’

One Day Workshop (including screenings) - IAS Seminar Room, Milburn House


10: Welcome and coffee
10.30: Kees Bakker ‘Making films, meeting people: Joris Ivens and the others’
11.30—12.15: Screenings of a selection of Ivens’ work plus other short films produced by the Centro de Cine Experimental of the Universidad de Chile selected by Tiziana Panizza
12.15: Lunch
1.15: Tiziana Panizza 'Joris Ivens in Chile' + screening of … A Valparaiso (27 min)
2.30: Michael Chanan 'Ivens in Cuba' + screening of Cuba, pueblo armado (43 min)
3.45: Tea/Coffee
4: Round Table Discussion
5: Symposium ends, followed by wine reception

* Lunch and refreshments will be provided

About the speakers:

Kees Bakker is one of the most renowned experts on Ivens’ work. He is the editor of Joris Ivens and the Documentary Context (1999) and former coordinator at the European Foundation Joris Ivens. He is currently the director at the Institut Jean Vigo in Perpignan, France. Since 2006 he has programmed the Doc History section of the Documentary Festival in Lussas, France.

Michael Chanan is Professor of Film and Video at Roehampton University, London. He is one of the UK’s leading academics working on documentary film and Latin American cinema. Also a documentary filmmaker, he is author, editor and translator of several books and articles on film and media, on subjects including early cinema and Cuban cinema, the social history of music, and the history of recording.

Tiziana Panizza has an enduring interest in Ivens and recently published Joris Ivens in Chile: documentary between poetry and social critic (2011).


Kees Bakker: Making films, meeting people: Joris Ivens and the others

A few years after the birth of cinema, and just before the beginning of the twentieth century, George Henri Anton Ivens was born in Nijmegen on 18 November 1898. At thirteen he already made his first film Wigwam ("De Wigwam"), a story of Indians in which the whole family participated. For the time being Joris did not think of a career as a filmmaker; a job was in store for him in his father's growing and prospering photo business. But things turned out differently and Joris Ivens became one of the pioneers of documentary film, covering most of the 20th century, its main characters and its wars. Being influenced and influencing others...

Tiziana Panizza: Joris Ivens in Chile

Joris Ivens visited Chile four times and made three films with young Chilean filmmakers: …A Valparaiso (1963) about the famous South American port; The Little Circus (1963) about a show in a poor neighbourhood; and The Victory Train’(1964) about Salvador Allende’s presidential campaign. Both a city portrait and a lyrical essay, ‘...A Valparaiso’ maintains a balance between a poetic interpretation of the port and a political perspective focusing on the inequalities of its inhabitants, thus providing a vibrant social critique. In Chile, Joris Ivens left behind him a momentum and a confidence in cinema as an instrument of social change. This idea was taken on board by Chilean and Latin American cinematographers in the creation of films which would reflect identity and social order in Latin America.

Michel Chanan: Ivens in Cuba

Ivens visited Cuba three times: in 1937 with Ernest Hemingway, and in 1960 and ‘61, at the invitation of the ICAIC, the Revolution’s new film institute. In 1960 he shot two films there, a travelogue, Carnet de viaje (‘Travel Notebook’), and Cuba, pueblo armado (‘Cuba, A People Armed’). The following year he returned to spend time as an adviser and assessor to the young film institute. This presentation reflects on both aspects: we shall look at Cuba, pueblo armado, a report on the Popular Militia as they engaged in an offensive against bands of counter-revolutionaries in the Escambray, made at the request of Fidel Castro (whom Ivens met on his second evening in Havana), and consider the influence of his approach to documentary on the Cubans he advised.