Last December, as part of the BAM/PFA’s ongoing series, Afterimage: Filmmakers and Critics in Conversation, young Mexican Canadian director Nicolás Pereda presented his 2007 film, Where Are Their Stories? (¿Dónde están sus historias?). The post-screening Q&A with film critic Robert Koehler (a contributing writer to Variety, Cinema Scope, and many other publications) was added to the PFA Library & Film Study Center’s audio archive, a campus resource which contains recordings going back to the 1970s.
Made—astonishingly—while still in film school, Where Are Their Stories? seeks to function as a filmic riposte to the question contained in its title. A narrative of political redress concerning a familial property dispute in Puebla, Mexico, and the lengths to which its young protagonist goes in search of justice, is contrasted with a patient, long-take eye for everyday domestic labors and the actuality of pedestrian life for the rural poor. Foreknowledge of the film, however, is not required in order to benefit from Pereda and Koehler’s conversation.
—Patrick Ellis, UC Berkeley Ph.D candidate in film and media, and former BAM/PFA graduate curatorial assistant