Disordered and Refigured
November 10, 2009 (Tue) - 7:30pm, Carpenter Center Room B04
$5 suggested donation

Balagan is excited to present a program of innovative works that explore the delicate and complex nature of the human body, mind and spirit. Films in this program probe issues of physical & mental illness in our society, using provocative formal strategies that strive towards making sense of the trials and tribulations of these remarkable individuals.


Fwd: Update on My Life (9 minutes, Video, 2009)
Directed by Nicky Tavares

A hybrid live-action and animated documentary, FWD: Update on My Life follows Dr. Deanie French, a professor and pioneer of internet-based learning and web accessibility, who decides one day to take a holiday from her heavy dosage of mood stabilizers and go on the Atkins diet. With newfound energy, she promptly leaves her husband and sets out starting up multiple businesses, making 10 new "special friends," and directing a documentary about her life.

In this experimental biography, director and "special friend" Nicky Tavares pieces together the humorous and tragic life story of Dr. Deanie French through a collection of interviews, personal emails, electronic greeting cards, and machinima footage, exploring Dr. French's complex psychological and professional relationship with the internet and technology. Alternating and probing notions of the the virtual and the real, FWD: Update on My Life reflects upon our idea of reality as it nimbly navigates Dr. French's fluctuating perceptions of the universe.

Nicky Tavares is a multimedia artist whose work explores digital culture and the presentation of the self. She received a B.A. in photocommunications from Saint Edward's University and an MFA in Film and Video from Massachusetts College of Art. She currently teaches in the Computer Animation program at Mount Ida College.

Estranhos Poemas: Escritos de Claudina Pereira (Strange Poems: Writings of Claudina Pereira) (9 minutes, Video, 2009)
Directed by Jessica Gidal and Marcelo Gobatto

Estranhos Poemas: Escritos de Claudina Pereira (Strange Poems: Writings of Claudina Pereira) is an experimental documentary short about the life and poetry of Claudina, a psychiatric patient is southern Brazil.

Claudina's writings mingle with the decaying environment of Hospital São Pedro, reflecting not only that her words are shaped by nearly 30 years in the hospital, but that the hospital itself is transformed by her presence.

Jessica Gidal is an editor, documentarian, and curator based in Boston, where she currently works in Educational Productions at WGBH. She is finalizing Estranhos Poemas: Escritos de Claudina Pereira (Strange Poems: Writings of Claudina Pereira), which she co-directed, edited, and collaboratively shot while living in Porto Alegre, Brazil. She edited several episodes of the "Screening Room with Robert Gardner" DVD series, as has worked on other documentary productions for FRONTLINE and the Discovery Channel. Aside from producing her own personal projects, she has created videos for community organizations and has curated several programs of animated documentaries for film festivals in the US and Canada. Prior to her work in film/video, she worked for several years in community development organizations in California as well as India. (www.gidal.net/jessica)

Itna Mujhe Pata Hai (This Much I Know)(24 mins, HD Video, 2008)
Directed by: Bridget Hanna

This Much I Know is the story of a teenage girl, struggling to define her life and her illness in a marginal, environmentally devastated neighborhood in Northern India. Inflected by her love of Bollywood music, and driven by frustration over the quality of health care available to her, this project investigates the relationships between environment and medicine, and between the subject and the filmmaker, as it attempts to understand one young woman's experience.

Artist Biography: Bridget Hanna is filmmaker and doctoral candidate in Social Anthropology at Harvard. Previous to entering graduate school, she taught video production and worked on various human rights and media projects such as The Milosevic Trial Archive and the Bhopal Media Project. Her current research and video work is in India, exploring a phenomenology of pollution and toxics related illness experience. Her short film This Much I Know (sonumsong.blogspot.com), about a young girl struggling to live, and celebrate, her life in a slum polluted by medical waste, is showing in film festivals. Her current project, The Colony of Lords looks at the daily life and experiences of the children and grandchildren of Bhopal gas disaster survivors, many of whom are subject to various sensory disabilities.