We ll read brillant text by GD huberman on extras (Kornelia and Lena will present) and watch this ama ing work belonging to the equally ama ing genre of pornomiseria (courtesy of Pablo Lafuente):
Aggarando Pueblo, 1978
“When writing film criticism was not enough, Mayolo and I chose to put it into practice in films themselves. This is why we made Agarrando pueblo, as a response to the proliferation of poverty-porn in our field and in the Third World. It was like a gob of spit in the soup of Third World film, and it earned us a great deal of criticism and ostracism in European and Latin American festivals, used as they are to swallow tinned poverty so that their bad conscience is at rest.” (Luis Ospina) Agarrando pueblo (a Colombian idiom meaning “to fool people”) recreates the story of a couple of film directors desperately looking for poverty in the streets of Cali and even manipulating reality when they fail to find what they are looking for. Film in film, denunciation of vampirism at its purest, this film presents reality in the guise of fiction and, in doing so, makes a categorical statement on the opportunistic discourse of Latin American documentary (and documentaries on Latin America) in the 1970s
Agarrando pueblo (The Vampires of Poverty) is a parody directed against the vices of this type of “social” and “testimonial” cinema. In the film, two such filmmakers travel around impoverished sectors of the cities of Bogotá and Cali in search of the images of abjection needed to complete a documentary commissioned by German TV. With a brilliant use of black humor, and the concept of the film within the film, a silent B/W camera allows audiences to document the “vampire” filmmakers’ itinerary as they induce, capture, and recount color images of beggars, prostitutes, children who live on the streets, and a whole list of marginal urban characters they must include in their production. These filmmakers are thus equated to vampires who feed off the sweat, misery, and blood of subaltern, marginal subjects.