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Against the Grain: An Artist's Survival Guide to Peru
Ann Kaneko
USA, Documentary, 2007           
60 min, DVCAM, Color
Spanish, Japanese and English with English subtitles

501 Screening Room
Saturday, April 19, 5 PM
All audiences

Chairman Mao

In 1989, Alfredo Márquez used an image of Mao in an artwork.  He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.  For every artist, the need to create and be heard is as basic as food and shelter.  But what happens when you live in a country where the state clamps down on free thinkers, forcing artists to censor themselves?  Four Peruvian visual artists, Alfredo,  Claudio Jiménez Quispe, Eduardo Tokeshi Namizato and Natalia Iguíñiz Boggio defy this tyranny through their work, using it to ignite change and inspire ordinary people to speak out.  Combining gritty Super 8 with raw vérité footage, Kaneko’s urgent film addresses the struggles and commitment of artists like Alfredo to raise the question – is freedom of expression a right or a privilege?

Ann Kaneko is a filmmaker and artist committed to exploring and presenting the diverse experiences of people outside the mainstream.  Based in Los Angeles and a fluent speaker of English, Japanese, and Spanish, she has worked independently and collaboratively in such places as Los Angeles, Tokyo and Lima.  She wrote and directed the musical 100% Human Hair for the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women.  Her feature-length documentary Overstay was funded by the Japan Foundation and Hoso Bunka Foundation.  An accomplished still photographer, Kaneko received an M.F.A. in film directing from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in photography and international relations from Bennington College.

Producer: Ann Kaneko           
Production Company: Random Films                       
Cinematographer: Ann Kaneko           
Editors: Bob Brooks, Michael Lim                       
Music by: Johnny Wilson
Cast: Claudio Jiménez Quispe, Alfredo  Márquez, Eduardo Tokeshi Namizato, Natalia Iguíñiz

Co-sponsored with the Austin Asian American Film Festival

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