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Susana Blaustein Muñoz

This episode is both in Swedish and English

If you are English-speaking, you can find the English introduction further down which makes the talk easier to follow.

Längre ned kan du även se filmen SUSANA.
Further down you can also see the movie SUSANA.

I det här avsnittet av SAQMI Play möter vi den argentinska filmskaparen Susana Blaustein Muñoz, som med sin ständigt aktuella självbiografiska film Susana tidigt blev en queer pionjär. Filmen från 1980 är en av dom allra första svenska lesbiska historier som skildras i rörlig bild, Susana bodde nämligen i Stockholm ett tag i slutet av 70-talet och hängde bland annat i kretsarna kring Lesbisk front. Christina, hennes dåvarande finlandssvenska flickvän som också var ny i Stockholm, figurerar i filmen. 40 år senare kommer deras pånyttfödda kärlek att skildras i kortfilmen Old Love Dies Hard, som skulle blivit en längre uppföljare till Susana men som verkar förbli den drygt åtta minuter kortdokumentär den är idag.

Sitt breda internationella genombrott fick Susana Blaustein Muñoz 1985 med dokumentärfilmen Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo som nominerades till en Oscar. Las Madres är en film om dom argentinska kvinnor som utmanade landets militärjunta och drev en enorm kamp för att få veta vad som hänt deras barn, som försvunnit under dom år Argentina var en militärdiktatur. Varje torsdag samlades mödrarna på torget Plaza de Mayo i Buenos Aires framför presidentens residens. Deras vita sjalar blev ett signum och rörelsen känd över hela världen.

Susana Blaustein Muñoz, idag 68 år, har examen i konst från Bezalel Academy i Jerusalem i Israel och en master i film från San Francisco Art Institute i USA. Idag bor hon återigen i sin hemstad Mendoza i Argentina. 

Vi ska alldeles strax låta Susana själv berätta om sitt arbete. Hon nämner direkt sitt självporträtt Susana som kom till när hon studerade film i San Fransisco. Susana är en slags dagbok i rörliga bilder och ett möte mellan två systrar som valt olika sätt att leva sina liv. Susana väver samman cinema vérité och intervjuer till ett collage av stillbilder, amatörfilmer och animationer för att gestalta den kulturella kontext i vilken kvinnlig, sexuell och etnisk identitet formas. Hon ber sina familjemedlemmar, älskare, ex och vänner berätta om henne framför kameran. Vad tycker du om Susana? undrar hon. Filmen blev censurerad av den argentinska staten – som flera av Susanas filmer. Hon säger idag att det är nästintill omöjligt för henne att arbeta som filmskapare i sitt hemland.

Malin Holgersson och SAQMIs grundare Anna Linder, hade samtalet med Susana den 28 juni 2021.
Susana sitter i sitt hem i Mendoza i Argentina och vi sitter hemma hos Anna i Majorna i Göteborg.

Text av Malin Holgersson.


SUSANA, 1980, US/Argentina, 25 min, sv/vit, 16mm.
Experimentell dokumentär om Susana Blaustein Muñoz liv. I sitt självbiografiska porträtt lämnar Susana hemlandet Argentina, för att leva sitt liv utanför det kulturella trycket från den latinamerikanska samhälls- och familjestrukturen. Det är en personlig och privat berättelse, likt en dagbok i rörliga bilder. Susana är en politiskt viktig film och en av de allra första svenska lesbiska historier som skildras och som bör ingå i ett svenskt kulturarv.

Fler filmer av Susana längre ned:

Trailer till filmen SUSANA:


Se hela filmen SUSANA
Pris: 40 kr. Pengarna går direkt till filmskaparen.

Relaterat material:

Screen: ‘Las Madres’ of Argentina
Text by Walter Goodman, The New York Times, April 2, 1986

Relationer blir film långt borta och nära, SvD
Text av Henrik Sahl Johansson, Publicerad den 4 augusti 2014.


Texts and films by Susana Blaustein Muñoz:

In this episode of SAQMI Play we meet the Argentinian filmmaker Susana Blaustein Muñoz, who became an early queer pioneer with her always relevant autobiographical film Susana. This film from 1980 marks one of the first Swedish lesbian stories to be portrayed in moving images, since Susana lived in Stockholm for a while in the late 70’s, and for instance hung out in the circles around Lesbisk front (Lesbian Front). Christina, her Finno-Swedish girlfriend at the time, who was also new to Stockholm, appears in the film. 40 years later their reborn love will be depicted in the short film Old Love Dies Hard, which was meant as a longer follow up to Susana, but seems to remain the slightly over 8-minute long documentary short that it is today.

Susana Blaustein Muñoz had her broad international breakthrough in 1985 with the documentary film Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, which was nominated for an Oscar. Las Madres is a film about the Argentinian women who challenged the nation’s military rule and waged a tremendous struggle for the right to know what happened to their children who’d disappeared during the years when Argentina was a military dictatorship. Every Thursday the women gathered at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires in front of the President’s residency. Their white scarves became a signum, and the movement grew famous all over the world.

Susana Blaustein Muñoz, now 68 years of age, has an art degree from the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem in Israel, and a master in film from the San Francisco Art Institute in the USA. Today she once again lives in her hometown of Mendoza in Argentina. 

In just a moment we’ll let Susana talk about her work herself. Directly she mentions her self-portrait Susana, which came to life while she was studying film in San Francisco. Susana is a kind of diary of moving images as well as a meeting between two sisters who’ve chosen different ways of living their lives. Susana weaves together cinema vérité and interviews to create a collage of stills, amateur films, and animations, to portray the cultural context in which female, sexual, and ethnic identity is formed. She asks her family members, lovers, exes, and friends to talk about her in front of the camera. What do you think about Susana? she wonders. The film was censured by the Argentinian state – just like many of Susana’s films. She says that today it’s almost impossible for her to work as a filmmaker in her home country.

Malin Holgersson and SAQMI’s founder Anna Linder had this discussion with Susana on the 28th of June, 2021.
Susana sits in her home in Mendoza in Argentina and we sit in Anna’s home in Majorna in Göteborg.
Text by Malin Holgersson. Translated to English by Alex Alvina Chamberland

Filmografi:

SUSANA, 1980, US/Argentina, 25 min, Black/White, 16mm.
Experimental documentary about Susana Blaustein Muñoz life. In this autobiographical portrait, Susana leaves her native Argentina to live her life outside the strictures of Latin American cultural and family pressures. Susana interweaves cinema vérité interviews of her family and lovers with snapshots, home movies and even a Disney cartoon to render the cultural context in which female, sexual and ethnic identity is shaped.

See the film SUSANA
Price: 40 skr. The money goes directly to the filmmaker.

Las Madres; The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, 1985, 64 min, 16mm. Co-directed and produced with Lourdes Portillo.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1986, Las Madres documents the courageous political actions of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a group of Argentine women who gather weekly at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires to remember the children that “disappeared” during the Dirty War (1976-1983).

La Ofrenda – The Days of The Dead (El Diade Los Muertos), 1989, 62 min. Produced and Directed by Lourdes Portillo and Susana Blaustein Muñoz. Filmed simultaneously in Oaxaca DF and  San Francisco. A documentary exploring the varying cultural practices of the “Day of the Dead” in both Mexico and Chicano/a communities in the United States. Nominated for Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival 1989.

My Home: My Prison, 1993, 60 min.
My Home: My Prison is based on the autobiography of Palestinian journalist Raymonda Tawil, one of the first Palestinians to engage Israelis in dialogue twenty-four years ago. She was arrested several times by the Israeli military and accused of being a collaborator by some of her own people. Yet today, she is considered a pioneer of the peace process in the Middle East. My Home, My Prison is also about the struggle for women’s rights. Raised in a misogynistic society that limits the freedom of women. Raymonda grew into a person who dared to speak her mind. Now exiled in Paris, she remains controversial; her daughter Suha married Yasser Arafat. Directed with intensity by two Jewish filmmakers. Erica Marcus and Academy Award nominee Susana Blaustein Muñoz, the film, set against the backdrop of the last fifty years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, goes beyond traditional documentary by interweaving archival footage, interviews and reenacted scenes from Tawil’s memories, accompanied by dramatized excerpts from her writings. It screened at the Haifa Film Festival 1994 -1996.

Ave Phoenix, 1995, 27 min. Short Film. Directed, produced and written by Susana Blaustein Muñoz. Starring Mira Furlan a former actress of Emir Kusturica. Sponsored by AFI in Hollywood,

Awakening from Sorrow: Buenos Aires 1997, 2009, 40 min, Directed by John Knoop and Karina Epperlein. Produced by John Knoop, Susana Blaustein Muñoz, Karina Epperlein. A documentary about the rise of the movement called HIJOS. Children of the disappeared. The film is about a crucial moment in history when the grief of young Argentines – whose parents disappeared and were tortured and killed during the ‘Dirty War’ (Argentina’s dictatorship organized mass killings of civilian dissidents during the 1970s until 1983) erupts into public action, and becomes a cornerstone for social movements from South America to Serbia. Until these young people began to organize and demand explanations from their government, the predominant coping strategy has been to pretend that the missing are still alive. This film documents the power to transform pain into action to lift the veil of repression that has gripped a generation of young people.

Old Love Dies Hard, 2013, 8:30 min. This autobiographical film shows that there is no agelimit for falling in love. The story of Susana and Christina takes us from Stockholm to Buenos Aires. Susana and Christina met in their 20`s and reconnected via Facebook 35 years later. Their love was rekindled at age 60 and they made a commitment to settle together. Never say never is the message!

See the film Old Love Dies Hard:


Credits SAQMI Play:
Producenter: Anna Linder och Malin Holgersson
Design och kod: Vincent Orback
Komposition: Amanda Lindgren
Klipp och mix: Malin Holgersson
Ansvarig utgivare: Anna Linder

SAQMI Play produceras med stöd av
Kulturrådet och Göteborgs stad.

Susana Blaustein Muñoz

00:00:00 / 00:34:04

"SAQMI Play_Susana_version 1".

Susana Family
Susana with her family.
Susana
Susanas mother and father.
Susana
Graphics from the film Susana, 1980.
Susana
From the film Susana, 1980.
Susana and Christina in the film Susana.
Susana Christina
Susana and Christina 40 years later.
Susana_Christina
Susana_Christina
Poster_Las_Madres
Poster from Las Madres; The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, 1985.
Munoz_Lourdes
Susana and Lourdes in front of the poster Las Madres; The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, 1985.
Poster La Ofrenda
Poster from La Ofrenda - The Days of The Dead, 1989.
Susana
Susana
Susana
Susana in San Fransisco.
Susana
Dan Wise giving Susana the certificate of the nomination for the Oscar.
Susana
Susana with her friend Renee Epelbaum. One of the Prominent Mothers of Plaza de Mayo.
Susana working
Susana painting
Paintings by Susana.
Susana painting
Susana Painting