Beyond the Gates

Co-presented with Metrograph

Presented as part of Unraveling Paradise, curated by Dessane Lopez Cassell.

Beyond the Gates presents a pairing of films that center the experiences of working-class Dominicans. In both Dalissa Montes de Oca’s Pacaman and Johanné Gómez Terrero’s Caribbean Fantasy, the everyday grind of keeping one’s head above water takes precedence, yielding a more nuanced portrait of life, labor, and class in Santo Domingo that purposely departs from the usual tourist fare of sunny shores and colonial architecture.


SYNOPSIS

Pacaman. 2021. Dir. Dalissa Montes de Oca. 23 min.
With her latest short Pacaman, Montes de Oca crafts an alternate vision of Santo Domingo via its bustling informal market, “La Duarte.” A humming soundscape anchors a cinema verité approach that blends both digital and analog formats, as Pacaman shines a light on the market’s vendors and their endless hustle. (This screening marks the US premiere of Pacaman.)

Caribbean Fantasy. 2016. Dir. Johanné Gómez Terrero. 53 min.
A captivating portrait of love and life on the banks of Santo Domingo’s Ozama River, Caribbean Fantasy follows Ruddy and Morena—a boatman and a married Evangelist—as they navigate a relationship as tenuous as the community they call home. Honing in on La Ciénaga de los Gandules, a barrio long neglected by the city, Gómez invites viewers to consider what lies beyond the veneer of more traditional “Caribbean fantasies.”


ABOUT

Working between non-fiction, ethnography, and collective memory, Dalissa Montes de Oca‘s work engages with the Dominican social and political context and its dualisms within the periferia and human surge. With a sensorial approach to moving images, her works aim on exploring different possibilities of cinema for engaging with the core of storytelling. In her last short film “Pacaman,” she employed both cinema verité and experimental approaches to paint a striking portrait of Santo Domingo. Through digital, analog and hybrid formats she explores the possibilities for digging into a habitat’s possibilities of representation.

Johanné Gómez Terrero is an Afro-Caribbean filmmaker from the Dominican Republic. A graduate of the International School of Film and TV of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba (EICTV) and from the Cinema and Audiovisual School of Catalonia, (ESCAC), she is currently exploring numerous artistic disciplines. She is part of the project “El futuro ya fue: antifuturismo cimarrón,” supported by La Virreina Museum in Barcelona. It is a collaborative and demonstrative exhibition that adopts Gloria Anzaldúa’s idea of art work as a cure.

As a director, her film credits include Caribbean Fantasy [2016], Bajo las carpas [2013], and Los Minutos Las Horas [2011]. Her films have screened at various international festivals and have won numerous awards, including La Silla in the Dominican Republic, the Coral at the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana; Cinepoeme at the DOCMX Festival; Best Research in Nador, Morocco; and San Sebastian International Film Festival in Donostia, among others.

Johanné also teaches in the film studies program at the Altos de Chavón School of Design and at INTEC University in the Dominican Republic; and in Cuba for EICTV. Additionally, she runs the Afro Perspectives lab of the MiradasDoc Festival (Canary Islands), which facilitates South-South dialogues between Latin America and Africa. Johanné has also worked as an advisor and researcher for non-fiction film projects, including Stateless (dir. Michèle Stephenson). Overall, Johanné’s work takes a decolonial stance, as she considers herself a Cimarrona.