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Yanqui Walker and the Optical Revolution
33 minutes
English subtitles
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Yanqui Walker and the Optical Revolution

This film explores a now-obscure American expansionist, William Walker, who through military force and coercion became president of Nicaragua in 1856. Walker was one of many expansionists who believed it was America's Manifest Destiny to conquer all of the Americas and who engaged in border raids in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Filmmaker Kathryn Ramey blends found footage, documentary photography, ethnographic inquiry, and personal travelogue with experimental film techniques such as hand-processing, optical printing, and time-lapse to detour and derail the various approaches to historymaking that have been applied to this story. YANQUI WALKER AND THE OPTICAL REVOLUTION tells us how US political history relates to the current political, social and economical context and how art can be a means to subvert and transcend even the most oppressive of narratives.
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"The filmmaker raises compelling questions about visual perception and the construction of history." - Tribeca Film Festival
"The stylized strategy of the filmmaker captures the mythology of her allusive subject in this unusual work." - Black Maria Film + Video Festival

• Jury's Choice, Black Maria Film + Video Festival, 2010
• Best Short Documentary, Athens International Film + Video Festival, 2010
• Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2010
• Tribeca Film Festival, New York, 2010
• Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2010 Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2010
• Society for Visual Anthropology Film & Media Festival, 2011

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TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Ford Foundation, Golden Globe Foundation, Kolibri Foundation and individual donors.