Fordlandia Malaise by Susana de Sousa Dias (2019, 40′), is a film about the memory and the present of Fordlandia, the company town founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon rain forest in 1928. Ford’s aim was to break the British rubber monopoly and produce this material in Brazil for his car production in the United States.
Today, the remains of construction site testify to the scale of the failure of this neocolonialist endeavor that lasted less than a decade.
Nowadays, Fordlandia is a space suspended between times, between the 20th and 21st centuries, between utopia and dystopia, between visibility and invisibility: architectural buildings of steel, glass, and masonry still remain in use while traces of indigenous life left no marks on the ground.
Although Fordlandia is well known due to the brief Fordian period, one must not forget the history either before or after. Giving voice to the inhabitants who claim the right to write their own story and reject the ghost town label, Fordlandia Malaise blends together archival imagery, drone footage, tales and narratives, myths and songs.
Susana de Sousa Dias, born in Lisbon, Portugal, holds a PhD in Fine Arts/Video and teaches New Media at the Universidade de Lisboa. She has exhibited her cinematic works at international film festivals and art exhibitions and received several awards. In 2012 she was Co-director of the international film festival Doclisboa.
2005 Natureza Morta, Visages d’une dictature; 72’
2009 48; 93’
2010 Natureza Morta | Stilleben; video installation, 33’
2017 Luz Obscura; 76’
2019 Fordlandia Malaise, 40’, which premiered at the 69th Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale)
Direction, Cinematography, Editing and Sound: Susana de Sousa Dias
Sound Design: António de Sousa Dias, Susana de Sousa Dias
Producer, Production Manager: Ansgar Schaefer
Organized by Delfina Cabrera, Ariadne Collins, and Marlon Miguel in collaboration with materia – DLCL Focal Group (Stanford University)
No registration required. Free admission and open to the public.
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© film still of Fordlandia Malaise