Alexandra Cuesta (Film/Video MFA 08) takes viewers on a journey through the diverse landscapes of Ecuador in her latest experimental documentary Manu: A Visual Album. The film makes its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on Friday, Nov. 10, and screens domestically with LA Filmforum at 2220 Arts + Archives on Wednesday, Nov 29.
The documentary accompanies LA-based composer and violinist Bryan Senti’s album Manu (2022), a fusion of his ancestral Latin American music with neoclassical music. Manu: A Visual Album was shot entirely on 16mm film, exploring the natural beauty of the Andean highlands, the Ecuadorian coastline, and the Amazon jungle. More about the film from IDFA:
In gorgeous, contrast-rich scenes we see horses along the coastline, clouds stretching across mountains, water flowing over glistening stones, fingers tracing the outline of a rock, an illuminated white hat—alternating in short and extended shots. The visual album also serves as a documentation of the landscapes and traditions of Ecuador that are on the verge of disappearing. It uses recollection to capture something distant yet somehow familiar. It contains something from the past and yet still is in the present—something intimate and all-embracing at the same time.
The film has five screenings at IDFA beginning Friday, Nov. 10 and ending Sunday, Nov. 19. The LA Filmforum screening takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 pm, preceded by a short performance by Senti.
Watch the trailer for Manu: A Visual Album below.