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Directed by Michelle Memran

United States 2017 79 mins. In English, Spanish

Filmmaker Memran’s directorial debut focuses on the legendary New York City-based, Cuban-born playwright María Irene Fornés (May 14, 1930 – October 30, 2018), an iconoclastic figure who was at the forefront of avant-garde theatre from her beginnings in the 1960s through the 1990s, penning now-classic work such as Promenade, The Successful Life of 3, Fefu and Her Friends, and many others. But Fornés, deeply influential to generations of playwrights, had in recent years developed Alzheimer’s disease. Through this enlightening, uplifting and at times heartbreaking documentary, Memran takes us on a ride through Fornés’s remarkable life—including recent trips to Cuba to visit family she hasn’t seen for a long time, and wonderful reminiscences of plays and performances gone by, their presence palpable even now. Memran’s personal connection to Fornés’s work and life becomes very clear, the two forming a tender partnership rare to see in a documentary. “Intimate and exhilarating…unfolds the details of [Fornés and Memran’s] decade-plus collaboration in ample, illuminating discussions.”—Richard Brody, The New Yorker.

María Irene Fornes tragically passed away on October 30, at the age of 88, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. For more information, see here.

Genres: Documentary

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.