El Mar La Mar

A film by Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki
18 November 2019, 8:30 PM
A Symbiont screening / Cinema Ponrepo




Cinema Ponrepo

El Mar La Mar
USA, 2017, 95 min.
An immersive journey through the Sonoran Desert on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Directed / Edited / Cinematography by Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki
Languages: English, Spanish with English subtitles.


El Mar La Mar weaves together harrowing oral histories from the area with hand-processed 16mm images of flora, fauna and items left behind by travelers. Subjects speak of intense, mythic experiences in the desert: A man tells of a fifteen-foot-tall monster said to haunt the region, while a border patrolman spins a similarly bizarre tale of man versus beast. A sonically rich soundtrack adds to the eerie atmosphere as the call of birds and other nocturnal noises invisibly populate the austere landscape.

Emerging from the ethos of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, J.P. Sniadecki’s attentive documentary approach mixes perfectly with Joshua Bonnetta’s meditations on the materiality of film. Together, they’ve created an experience of the border region like nothing you’ve seen, heard or felt before.

Joshua Bonnetta (b.1979) is a Canadian artist working with sound and analogue film across installation and cinema exhibition. His work is primarily concerned in engaging the embedded histories of environments, structures, and materials.

J.P. Sniadecki (b. 1979) is a filmmaker, anthropologist, and professor of documentary media at Northwestern University in Chicago. His films have won many awards at festivals around the world.

Awards "Bonnetta and Sniadecki’s film stands out because it allows one of the most politicized terrains in the world to speak for itself." (Philip Oltermann, The Guardian).

Festival Winner: Berlin International Film Festival (Caligari Film Award), Dokufest Kosovo (Best Film), Curitiba International Film Festival (Best Film), IndieLisboa (Universities Prize). Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Vienna International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, AFI FEST, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam

Admission charges for members of Ponrepo:
· CZK 50
· Students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and children under 15: CZK 40

General Admittance
· CZK 80 Kč
· Students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and children under 15: CZK 70

The series of screenings Symbiont: The stories of transforming mutualism has been organized in collaboration with Anthropictures and Cinema Ponrepo and has been curated by social anthropologist Pavel Borecký.