Houston, TX 77005
1:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
On Campus | Alumni
Directed by acclaimed Colombian artist Juan Manuel Echavarría, Réquiem NN is an evocative documentary film, in which a community defies the culture of violence by keeping alive the memory of the disappeared. The town of Puerto Berrío, which sits on a bend near Colombia’s Magdalena River, has been at the center of the conflict between various armed groups such as guerrillas, the army, paramilitaries, and drug traffickers, enduring uninterrupted cycles of violence. For over 30 years, local townspeople have fished out the remains of victims of violence, called No Names (NNs), drifting downstream. Yet for over several years now, the locals have adopted these unidentified corpses and baptized them. They decorate and visit their graves and honor their memory as one would for a lost family member—all because, according to their faith, this guarantees divine protection and special favors. Since 2006, Echavarría has traveled to the Puerto Berrío’s cemetery to document these rituals, first through photography and now through film. With a lyrical and reflective eye, the film addresses the ways in which we respond to violence by portraying a community that restores the value and dignity of life, while confronting bitter cruelty and loss. Following the screening, there will be a discussion with Juan Manuel Echavarría and Luis Duno-Gottberg, Associate Professor Caribbean and Film Studies at Rice University. FREE ADMISSION.