View this festival online from
Aug. 27 – Sep. 11, 2021

Access all films by registering for a free Festival Pass.

Browse the virtual catalog below, or on FROM AFAR’s Eventive virtual catalog page


FROM AFAR II is a virtual film festival that reflects on personal and national memory; monumentalism; and collective inheritance. These five films question the ways we produce—and are subjugated by—the recursive images that saturate everyday life. The festival is organized by Roland Dahwen (artist, filmmaker, and the Cooley’s 2020–2021 artist-in-residence) and supported by Cooley curator Stephanie Snyder. FROM AFAR II is a program of the Cooley Gallery, presented in collaboration with Converge 45. Dahwen explores each film in a series of accompanying essays, available at his website.

FROM AFAR II features:

  • A Thousand Suns (2013) by Mati Diop (45 min.)
  • Butter Lamp (2013) by Hu Wei (15 min.)
  • The Blue Eyes of Yonta (1991) by Flora Gomes (90 min.)
  • Taipei Story (1985) by Edward Yang (110 min.)
  • Mekong Hotel (2012) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (60 min.)

FROM AFAR II will be presented online for free, through a special collaboration with the Northwest Film Forum. All films will be available on-demand for the duration of the festival: August 27 – September 11, 2021.

Note: Due to distributor restrictions, the films are only available to view within the United States.

Film Program:

A Thousand Suns

Mati Diop’s short film A Thousand Suns follows Magaye Niang, the star actor from the acclaimed 1973 film Touki Bouki. Niang attends a commemorative screening of Touki Bouki, showing us how cinema and memory reflect and distort our lives.

(Mati Diop, Senegal, 2013, 45 min, in Wolof with hardcoded English subtitles)

Photo credit: Courtesy of Anna Sanders Films.

The Blue Eyes of Yonta

The Blue Eyes of Yonta is Flora Gomes’s second feature. Set in the capital city of Bissau, Gomes’ film follows Vicente, a former freedom fighter who runs a fish warehouse, Zé, a student and lover of poetry, and Yonta, an independent-minded member of the post-Independence generation. A reflection on the frictions, hopes, and disillusionment of postcolonial Guinea-Bissau.

(Flora Gomes, Guinea-Bissau, 1991, 94 min, in Guinea-Bissau Creole with hardcoded English subtitles)

Photo credit: Courtesy of California Newsreel.

Butter Lamp

Butter Lamp is Hu Wei’s short film depicting an ambulant photographer who makes portraits of Tibetan nomads. An examination of national imagery, performance, and the act of photography.

(Hu Wei, China, 2013, 15 min, in Tibetan with hardcoded English subtitles)

Photo credit: Courtesy of AMA Productions.

Mekong Hotel

Mekong Hotel is a featurette by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, filmed on the border of Thailand and Laos. Through a series of rehearsals and scenes, the cast and crew move between fictions, spirits, floods, and possible futures.

(Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2012, 60 min, in Thai with hardcoded English subtitles)

Photo credit: The Match Factory / Kick the Machine Films.

Taipei Story

Taipei Story, Edward Yang’s second film, examines the past and present of a changing city. Lung, a former baseball player who runs a textile business, and Chen, who works in property development, navigate their unraveling relationship against a backdrop of architecture, nationalism, and dreams of emigration.

(Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1985, 110 min, in Hokkien & Mandarin with English subtitles)

Photo credit: Courtesy of Janus Films.

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