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El árbol de las fresas

(The Strawberry Tree)
Canada/Cuba/Italy 2011. Dir: Simone Rapisarda Casanova. 71 min. DCP

The debut feature of Simone Rapisarda Casanova is an ethnographic documentary uniquely — and responsibly — aware of its own epistemological limitations. Shot in the remote fishing hamlet of Juan Antonio, Cuba less than a month before it was obliterated by Hurricane Ike, Rapisarda Casanova’s elegant, artful film makes no attempts to disguise its own making, nor feign authority over its subjects; in fact, the intimate, organic relationship forged between the director and the locals, who playfully rib him about his “boring” documentary, forms one of the film’s great self-reflexive joys. That the way of life he captured was only weeks away from extinction makes Rapisarda Casanova’s thoughtful and ethically onside approach all the more commendable. Winner of the NFB Award for Most Innovative Canadian Documentary at DOXA 2012. “A beguiling and largely unclassifiable blend of documentary, ethnography, reverie, and unabashed celebration of its subjects’ bold, bawdy spirit (Jason Anderson, Cinema Scope). In Spanish with English subtitles.

Laura U. Marks, a Vancouver-based scholar, theorist, curator, and instructor at the School for the Contemporary Arts — Simon Fraser University, will introduce the screening of El árbol de las fresas.

Director Simone Rapisarda Casanova will be in attendance.



"Elegantly composed, affectionate but unsentimental ... Strawberry Tree is a singular memory piece, and a document created just in time."

The Hollywood Reporter | full review