The Poetics of Fragility : A Transmedia Project

    Film         Artist Book       Website  



HD, 63 minutes, Nicolás Grandi & Lata Mani,  Spanish subtitles; Artist Book English/Spanish editions.

The Poetics of Fragility (63 minutes) explores the texture, vitality and aesthetics of fragility. It interweaves stories of bodily frailty with optical vignettes of nature’s delicacy to reclaim fragility as intrinsic to existence, not something to be bemoaned or overcome.  

Shot in the San Francisco Bay Area in September 2015, the film features internationally renowned scholar-activist Angela Davis, the acclaimed playwright and critic Cherrie MoragaNora Cortiñas, the inspiring founding member of Madres de Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora, actor-dancer Greg Manalo, feminist performance artists Thao P. Nguyen and Martha Rynberg, theater scholar Jisha Menon, healer Christopher Miles, creative writer Xochitl M. Perales and the young trombone talent, Jasim Perales.

The Poetics of Fragility is conceived as a “videocontemplation;” a form that Nicolás Grandi and Lata Mani have been developing to explore how the audiovisual medium with its sensuous possibilities can become a tool for social inquiry with a philosophical impulse. The visually arresting and formally plural film unfolds through stories that build on and amplify each other. Moments of emotional intensity alternate with speculative calm, dramatic narration with poetry and critical inquiry into prevailing understandings of fragility.  

The companion artist book: There is very little material that honors the experience of frailty, its moods and expressions, its potential for transforming our understanding of the social order. For this reason we intend to produce a companion artist book (comprised of the DVD, script, images and material not finally used in the film). The book is not conceived as a textual analog of the film but as an aesthetic experiment its own right; one that extends the poetics of the film and explores the possibilities of the book as a form. The artist book is conceived as a resource for anyone confronting frailty and all those involved in supporting them, families, therapists, rehabilitation centers, hospitals. It is also intended for pedagogical use in higher education settings.

The website www.the is conceived as a community platform and will host supporting materials and curated creative responses to the film, sonic, graphic, audiovisual, literary.

"This film's textures, silences and angles get us closer to the experience of pain than any prose or textbook. It will resonate with anyone who's danced with chronic pain, but more than pain, chronic is the key word here...time...The Poetics of Fragility points you squarely to the scourge, the salve, and finally the ruse of time and jazz is the perfect response." Dr. B. J. Miller, hospice and palliative care specialist, University of California, San Francisco

Thanks to all acts of generosity - donations of time, money, expertise, waived & reduced fees for music, professional services etc.! If you feel moved to contribute to the project please email us at maillatamani(at)gmail(dot)com