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50th Directors’ Fortnight May 9-19, 2018

Que Hacer?

Fortnight 1972, Feature film, 90'

Synopsis

Told on many levels, this film examines the human perspective on the events that led to the election of Marxist Salvador Allende as President of Chile. Among the many small dramas which make up the whole is the story of a Peace Corps volunteer whose loyalties are split between a local revolutionary and an American CIA-type man. This film was shot in both English and Spanish and seamlessly weaves together the work of its three directors.

Directors

Bill. Yarhaus

After graduating from The Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania, Bill Yahraus began his filmmaking career in San Francisco as a member of the documentary unit at KQED. He then teamed up with filmmakers Michael Anderson, Paul Jacobs and Saul Landau to make documentaries collectively (The Jail, Song for Dead Warriors, Robert Wall: Ex-FBI Agent). In Los Angeles he formed Focal Point Films with Chris Burrill and David Davis, where he made the award winning Homeboys about the Cuatro Flats gang. A career in feature film editing followed including such films as Pass the Ammo, Heartland, Country, The Long Walk Home, and Silent Tongue. Although continuing to consult on documentaries during this period, including the Academy Award winning Broken Rainbow, and The Samoan Heart for the PBS « Pacific Diaries » series, Travels With Tarzan marked Bill’s return to his roots as a documentary filmmaker. Since 1999 he has taught film production at the University of Southern California. When not behind the camera or in front of the editing system, Bill can be found on his horse « The General, » exploring the high desert surrounding Jumpin’ Jack Ranch.

James Becket

JameBecket grew up in Lakeville, Connecticut, a small New England town. He had two ambitions, one was to make the Olympic ski team (no, broken leg wrong year), the other to become a writer (yes). There was no role model to go into films with a country lawyer father and piano teacher mother, so a number of years were wasted on a first class education (Harvard Law School and doctorate in Switzerland – good skiing). His film school was making the movie Que Hacer in Chile during the election of Salvador Allende, Que Hacer. Seven years with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees took him around the world filming refugee crises. And then making the big move to Hollywood, so a late start in writing and directing. But he finally found the vehicle for his passion in film, the art that combines all the arts. He lives in Ojai, California with his current wife, Camilla, and eight year-old daughter Lydia. Lydia has epilepsy which has meant making a number of films for parents who first receive the diagnosis that their child has this seizure disorder. Everything the Beckets wish they had known. He’s always writing, always looking for financing to get those great scripts on the shelf made.

Nina Serrano

Nina is a poet, writer, and storyteller. She also conducts workshops in schools and community center. She recently completed an 18 segment telenovela « Grand Cafe » for a non-profit about immigrant women setting up their own small businesses. In 2006, Serrano wrote the introduction to the Alameda theme poems anthology and her poem was published in Words upon water, a poetry anthology about the New Orleans disaster published by Juke Box Press. She hosts regular community and literature programs on KPFA-fm.

Raul Ruiz

Rising to international prominence in the early 1980s, Raúl Ruiz has proved one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers of recent years, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. Slashing his way through celluloid with machete-sharp sounds and images, Ruiz is a guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaults the preconceptions of film art. This frightfully prolific figure–he has made over 50 films in twenty years–does not adhere to any one style of filmmaking. He has worked in 35mm, 16mm and video, for theatrical release and for European TV, and on documentary and fiction features. Ruiz’s career began in the avant-garde theater where, from 1956 to 1962, he wrote over 100 plays. Although he never directed any of these productions, he did dabble in filmmaking in 1960 and 1964 with two short, unfinished films. In 1968, with the release of his first completed feature, Tres tristes tigres (1968), Ruiz, along with Miguel Littin and Aldo Francia, was placed in the forefront of Chilean film. A committed leftist who supported the Marxist government of Salvador Allende, Ruiz was forced to flee his country during the fascist coup of 1973. Living in exile in Paris since that time, he has found a forum for his ideas in European TV. His first great European success came with _Hypothèse du tableau volé, L’ (1978)_; a puzzling black-and-white film adapted from a novel by Pierre Klossowski, constructed in a tableaux vivants style that tells the enigmatic story of a missing 19th-century painting. Influenced by the fabulist tradition that runs through much Latin American literature (Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Alfonso Reyes have all been cited as influences), Ruiz is a poet of fantastic images whose films slip effortlessly from reality to imagination and back again. A manipulator of wild, intellectual games in which the rules are forever changing, Ruiz’s techniques are as varied as film itself–a collection of odd Wellesian angles and close-ups, bewildering p.o.v. shots, dazzling colors, and labyrinthine narratives which weave and dodge the viewer’s grasp with every shot. As original as Ruiz is, one can tell much about him by the diversity of his influences; in addition to adapting Klossowski, he has been inspired by Franz Kafka (Colonia penal, La (1970) is a Chilean reworking of The Penal Colony), Racine (Bérénice (1983)), Calderon (Mémoire des apparences (1986)), Shakespeare (Richard III (1986)), Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island (1985)), Orson Welles (whose F FOR FAKE is a precursor of THE HYPOTHESIS OF THE STOLEN PAINTING, 1978), and Hollywood B movies (Roger Corman was executive producer on The Territory (1981)). Like Godard (whom Ruiz names as an early influence and who also owes a debt to B films), Ruiz makes no differentiation between the « high art » of Racine or Calderon and the « low art » of Roger Corman. Unfortunately, only a handful of Ruiz’s films are available for viewing in the US, and it is on these few films that his reputation here is built. The few works that are available, however, bear witness to the genius that informs his entire body of work.

Saul Landau

Saul Landau, an internationally-known scholar, author, commentator, and filmmaker on foreign and domestic policy issues. Landau’s most widely praised achievements are the over forty films he has produced on social, political and historical issues, and worldwide human rights, for which he won the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award, the George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting, and the First Amendment Award, as well as an Emmy for « Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang. » Landau has written over ten books, short stories and poems. He received an Edgar Allen Poe Award for Assassination on Embassy Row, a report on the 1976 murders of Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his colleague, Ronni Moffitt.

Aníbal Reyna
Luis Alarcon
Pablo de la Barra
Richard Stahl
Sandra Archer

Screenplay
Christián Sánchez

Prod : Lobo Films 214 Hoffman Ave. San Francisco Cal. 94114 et James Becket 26, rue de l’Athénée 1026 Genève Suisse

Title in Original Version : Que Faire ?