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Faculty-Produced Film Touring Festivals, Museums

Black woman looks out from screen in film theater bathed in red light
Too Bright to See (Part I) is on view at the Whitney through summer 2024. Courtesy photo

Visual and Media Arts Associate Professor Michael Ryan, producer of The Ballad of Suzanne Césaire, premiered the film at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in January, and will screen it at festivals internationally throughout the year: FIDMarseille and Sydney Film Festival in June, BFi London Film Festival and the Viennale in October.

But through August, you can catch a short gallery version of the film, written and directed by Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, in New York, at the Whitney Biennial 2024.

Both the feature film, for which Hunt-Ehrlich received a Tiger Award nomination at Rotterdam, and the 24-minute gallery version, Too Bright to See (Part I), center around the Martinican writer and feminist thinker Suzanne Césaire, whose legacy and accomplishments have been overshadowed by men working in the Caribbean at the same time (1930s and ‘40s), including her own husband, writer Aimé Césaire.

“What if someone has become invisible to history not because they did nothing of note but because they were too bright to be seen?” asks the placard at the Whitney.

Too Bright to See, which will tour U.S. museums later in 2024, gives Césaire her due, “through the same Black internationalist, lyrically hybrid, generatively ambivalent, and ecstatically uncontainable Caribbean eco-poetics through which she projected herself,” according to the Whitney catalogue.

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