Health/Care Film Series: The View From Here

Thursday, February 8, 7-10pm
Film: Silverlake Life: The View From Here (Friedman, 1993)
Presented by Emma Ben Ayoun
30 participants maximum

Begun as a video diary by filmmaker Tom Josslin, and completed and edited by his good friend Peter Friedman per his request following his death, the 1993 PBS documentary Silverlake Life: The View from Here tells the story of Josslin and his partner Mark Massi, who have both been diagnosed with AIDS, as they navigate the final months of Josslin’s life. This groundbreaking and seminal film was one of the earliest to document the day-to-day realities of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and its depictions of care, from its most mundane to its most heart-wrenching manifestations, remain profoundly impactful to this day.

The screening of this film (cw: death, medical spaces and trauma) will be followed by a discussion, moderated by Emma Ben Ayoun. Some guiding questions we may collectively ask include: What is intimacy and how, if ever, can care be depicted on film? What kinds of power structures, governmental and otherwise, are disrupted by structures of care, and what happens to those structures when they are filmed? Can filmmaking be an act of caring, healing, or mourning, or is it always objectifying and reductive? What possibilities for resistance, and for care as resistance, does a documentary like Silverlake Life offer us?

Emma Ben Ayoun is currently working on her PhD at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the social, medical, and visual implications of “sickness” (as a colloquial, and often pejorative, term) in cinema; she is interested in media that moves beyond reductive or harmful representations of illness, disability, and pain, and allows subjects who have been constituted as “sick” to reclaim and depict their own experiences. She is deeply inspired by scholars in disability studies, gender studies, and critical race studies, all of whom have asked us to reconsider the politics of the normative body and who have also found ways to integrate advocacy, inclusion, and resistance into their academic work. She would love to hear from you.

Health/Care Film Series Screenings:

Thursday, March 8: The House is Black (Farrokhzad, 1963); In My Language (Baggs, 2007); Voice/Over (Barry, 2007), presented by Emma Ben Ayoun.

Friday, March 30: Nothing About Us Without Us, a short film program presented by Georgian Badal.

Thursday, April 19: Unrest (Brea, 2017), presented by Sheila Films.