VenueWalter Reade Theater
New York Premiere
Screening with live musical accompaniment by original score composer, Donald Sosin.
On April 15, 1928, Adan and Andres Stoessel departed from their hometown in the province of Buenos Aires on a Chevrolet model 1928 with the intention of driving all the way to New York in an era when the Pan American highway was still only a dream. Thus commenced a legendary journey that lasted two years and 15 days and was recorded in this film, which was shot during their journey.
The invaluable footage captured by the brothers includes the only images of Nicaragua that exist before the earthquake that almost completely destroyed Managua shortly after they drove through it, as well as the only images that exist of some Latin American capitals at the time, most of them which still preserved their colonial past.
During their journey the brothers faced innumerable challenges and dangers, storms, illnesses, raging rivers, political upheavals and even attacks from bandits. It is difficult to imagine how they managed to reach New York—at the time film equipment was not portable or small, virgin material was flammable and in order to process it they had to send it to Buenos Aires by mail as they made their way up. In addition, the footage of the last portion of the journey was stolen along with the camera by a group of bandits in Mexico who had “more faith in film than in cars.” But the duo were received as heroes in New York and invited to the White House by the Vice President. The General Motors Museum in Detroit took the car into their display collection.
Copy restored by the Fundacion Cinemateca Argentina in cooperation with The Library of Congress of the United States.
For the First Time (Por primera vez)
Octavio Cortazar, 1965, Cuba; 10m
Cortazar captures the candid and surprising reactions of young and old people who see films for the first time in the most isolated and poorest rural areas of the island. One of the most memorable of Cortázar’s works and of the history of Cuban documentaries—a film that is renowned for its lyrical substance and deeply humanist images of one of the finest moments of the Cuban Revolution.