Cannes Award Winner ‘The Lips’ Premieres at Harlem’s Unique Maysles Cinema

107

The Lips (Los Labios), an award winning feature film from Argentina, will debut at Harlem’s Maysles Cinema as a highlight of its Documentary In Bloom film series, for one week beginning June 13th. Co-directed by Ivan Fund and Santiago Losa, The Lips won the 2010 Cannes Film Festival Certain Regard Award for Best Actress, a prize shared by the three ensemble lead actresses, Adela Sanchez, Eva Bianco, and Victoria Raposo.

Blending fiction and documentary in lyrically intertwined and barely perceptible ways, The Lips follows the journey of three government medical workers into the countryside, as they encounter the local rural families beset with multiple physical and social problems. Including malnutrition, chronic disease, poverty, unemployment and homelessness. Yet full of patience and hope despite in many cases their bleak future, and in ironic contrast to at least one of the women, a social worker preoccupied with a mysterious, far more existential middle class despair.

As with life itself, the film is ripe with enigmas and raises more issues than answers, leaving to the audience a resolution that is intended as more personal than traditionally dramatic. And refers to the lips in question, not as the usual erotic narrative device in movies, but rather the elemental source of human connection and communication, through both words and emotional expression. And beyond the difference and distances of gender, class and culture.

The Lips is part of the bi-monthly series, Documentary in Bloom: New Films Presented by Livia Bloom. The program highlights challenging, controversial, and thought-provoking new documentaries of outstanding artistic merit, and shown in an intimate 57-seat setting nightly at 7:30 p.m.

The Maysles Cinema, a new non-profit theater in Harlem, is dedicated to the exhibition of documentary film and video. The cinema extends the Maysles Brothers’ principle that the lives of ordinary people not only deserve, but demand, our attention. This unique theater aims to foster a democratic viewing experience by selecting and presenting movies in collaboration with independent filmmakers, programmers, critics, local film clubs and organizations.

The theater spotlights programs from citizen videographers, ‘hood’ documentarians, street vendors, video store owners, neighbors and citizen-activists. In addition to presenting the masterworks of the documentary tradition, overlooked or under-distributed gems and new releases, the space is intended to focus on meaningful social exchange. And offers a forum for the discussion of questions of social, racial, and economic justice and explore liminal areas of knowledge.

The Theater’s first commitment is to serve the Harlem community. Maysles Cinema is located at 343 Malcolm X Blvd near Lenox Ave,

between 127th and 128th Streets in New York City. The space is also rented out for video screenings, lectures, theatrical readings, live music, and sometimes dance parties.

More information about the Documentary In Bloom film series and other many upcoming screenings and events, is online at: mayslesinstitute.org

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.