Paz Encina

Still from Paz Encina’s Ejercicios de memoria (Memory Exercises), 2016, digital video, color, sound, 70 minutes.

PAZ ENCINA makes film objects and situational documentaries, or sit-docs, movies in which a dramatic narrative is transparently constructed from a handful of organized audiovisual facts. Sound in Encina’s minimalist films generally takes precedence over image. The artist is a formalist whose subject is the history of her native Paraguay—poor, landlocked, governed for decades by the ruthless right-wing dictator General Alfredo Stroessner.

Encina, who studied classical guitar as a child, learned to read music before she knew the alphabet. She builds her films, she has said, on the foundation of the sound track and has compared writing a movie to writing a score. Her first feature, La hamaca paraguaya (Paraguayan Hammock, 2006), is one of the key sit-docs of the early twenty-first century—a movie impossible to watch without conscious awareness of the elements from which it

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