I Travel Because I Have To,
I Come Back Because I Love You
Screening and lecture with
Karim Aïnouz, Filmmaker and artist
I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
35mm, color, 75 min. Dir. Karim Aïnouz
José Renato, a thirty-five-year-old geologist, is sent on a surveying trip to the scrublands of the Sertão, a semi-arid isolated region in the northeast of Brazil. The goal of his survey is to assess possible routes for an irrigation canal from the region’s only large river. For many locals, the canal is a lifeline, the chance of a future and source of hope. But for those living in the canal’s path, it means only departure, and loss. Many of the places through which José Renato passes will be flooded and many of the people and families will be relocated. As the survey progresses, it becomes evident that José Renato shares a sense of abandonment, isolation, and emptiness with the places he visits.
About the artist
Karim Aïnouz is a Brazilian-Algerian filmmaker and visual artist whose work addresses issues of gender, identity, and personal histories. His films focus on characters who break universal taboos and transcend stereotypes. Madame Satã is a film about the infamous drag performer and capoeirista Madame Satã who lived in Rio de Janeiro in the 1930’s. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. His second film, O Céu de Suely, is about a mother who, abandoned by her husband, finds herself and pursues her own form of utopia in an unexpected way. Sunny Lane is an essay on border crossing and exile that was commissioned by the Sharjah Biennial in 2011. In the early 90’s, Aïnouz co-directed MIX NYC, an organization dedicated to queer experimental film and the New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festival. Aïnouz has won prizes at numerous international festivals including the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, Cinema Brazil Grand Prize, and Havana International Film Festival, among others. In 2012, he was a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival. He is currently finishing his new feature, Praia do Futuro. Aïnouz lives and works in Berlin.