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Sepa: Nuestro Señor De Los Milagros

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Director: Walter Saxer
1986 / 77min / DCP

Best known as a producer, Swiss-born Saxer spent much of his career abetting Werner Herzog in his pursuit of the impossible. It was on the shoot of Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) that Saxer first heard tell of an open-air penal colony in the remote Peruvian jungle on the Sepa River, a place called “Nuestro Señor de los Milagros,” which would become the subject of his lone film as director. Recently rediscovered after long obscurity, Saxer’s empathetic portrait of inmate life, featuring narration by Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, emerges as one of the great directorial one-offs, exploring the fascinating contradictions of this experimental prison inspired by ideas of progressive reform—a place Herzog described as a “bizarre island of freedom where tragedy and absurdity create a closed-in world seemingly invented from feverish dreams.”

Intro and Q&A with Walter Saxer, moderated by Micaela Saxer Friday, October 14 @ 6:40pm

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