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Local Sightings 2020 - Borrufa [Online]
Northwest Film Forum
Seattle, WA
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Local Sightings 2020 - Borrufa [Online]
View this program on-demand
Sep. 18-27, 2020

Tickets are non-refundable.

Roland Dahwen
1h 50m

Ireneo is an undocumented immigrant, living in the U.S. with his wife and son. His life begins to fall apart when his wife, Leonora, learns that he has a second, secret family, that he has supported for many years. As his daily life unravels, he takes a DNA test, and discovers that the child he had in secret is not his biological daughter. He struggles with this double betrayal, attempting to maintain his routine as his wife grows more distant from him.
Their grown son, Heldáy, consoles Ireneo, letting him stay in his room. Avoiding the damage hes caused through his secrecy, Ireneo becomes more and more philosophical; more out of touch. Leonora, struggling to balance her effort to reconcile with Ireneo against the daily work of cooking, cleaning, and caring for both Heldáy and her dying mother, Amanda, decides she must leave. As she bids her sisters and ghost-like mother goodbye, Leonora is haunted by memories, and tormented by the choice that has been foisted onto her.

About the filmmaker:
Roland Dahwen is a filmmaker whose work explores migration, race, and memory. His video installations have shown in festivals, galleries and museums in the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. He is a recipient of the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship and an artist-in-residence in Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts Creative Exchange Lab. Borrufa is his first feature film.

Director's statement:
Borrufa was filmed with Super 16mm color filmstock (Kodak Vision3 250D) and sync sound. Director Roland Dahwen worked with nonprofessional actors to create long, uncut scenes with only one or two takes and minimal camera movements. One of Dahwens motivations was to make a film about undocumented immigrants in the United States, featuring characters whose lives were not defined by politics or legislation. The plot and scenes were written in collaboration with the actors, based on their real lives, habits, clothing, houses, and families. The director and actors rehearsed for months before production, never using written scripts. Instead, the director sent audio recordings of the dialogue for the actors to memorize. Based on a true story, the films plot is defined by implied, unsaid dramas and subtle allusions that unfold beneath the surface.


Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
United States



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