Elogio a la oscuridad

Adrián Balseca
Ecuador | 2024 | 17 min
World premiere
Language : no dialogue

Deep in Ecuador’s Mullumica Valley, figures are busy extracting obsidian, an opaque volcanic rock. The rock then begins its metamorphosis, transported from the quarry to the pristine confines of a laboratory where it takes on its ultimate role – as a replacement for the director’s artificial eye. A mineral chronicle charting the course of healing.
In a remote quarry in Ecuador's Mullumica Valley, silhouetted figures are busy harvesting rock against a soundtrack of driving rain and thunder. These sombre rumblings, which resonate deep within the bowels of the Earth, will soon give way to the hum of electronic machinery. In Praise of Darkness examines the process of producing an artificial eye, from the extraction of obsidian from volcanic rock faces to its final transformation within the pristine confines of a laboratory, and invites us to discover the historical, technological and human aspects of modern medical practice. Employing a spellbinding technique of juxtaposition, Balseca skilfully reveals the inextricable link between the mining of natural resources and the Western concept of progress. This 16mm essay oscillates between a technological road trip at the crossroads between mineral and human bodies, and a wistful topography charting the erosion of ancestral knowledge.

James Berclaz-Lewis
In Praise of Darkness, 2024
Meaning, 2023
Rethinking Nature, 2021
Cosmopolis #2: Rethinking the Human, 2019


Pablo Paloma
Martín Scaglia
Sebastián Schjaer
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International Medium Length & Short Film Competition

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