Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family
DIRECTOR: SUSAN MEISELAS, ALFRED GUZZETTI, RICHARD ROGERS
A post screening discussion, with Susan Meiselas & Alfred Guzzetti, will be moderated by Jonathan Buchsbaum, professor of Media Studies at Queens College and author of Cinema and the Sandinistas: Filmmaking in Revolutionary Nicaragua.
During the leadup to the 1984 election in Nicaragua, Meiselas and co-directors Rogers and Guzzetti revisited the five siblings in a pro-revolutionary family, the Barrios, that she’d gotten to know while shooting her canonical Nicaragua: June 1978 - July 1979, testing observed reality against President Reagan’s claims that the country, as run by the Sandinistas, was a communist dystopia. A thoughtful, intimate portrait of social upheaval as seen through the prism of family, fairly brimming with hope and fervor.
Associated with Magnum since 1976, some of Meiselas’s best-known work was produced through her reportage from a sometimes-tumultuous Latin America. Prior to taking off for El Salvador, Chile, Kurdistan, and other ports of call, Meiselas worked as an assistant editor on Frederick Wiseman’s Basic Training (1971) before making her classic Pictures at a Revolution; this documentary experience would come in handy when endeavoring to show a very different side of life in Nicaragua under the Sandinistas than that provided by television news.