DRY GROUND BURNING (2022) with filmmaker Joana Pimenta: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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DRY GROUND BURNING (2022) with filmmaker Joana Pimenta

A woman siphens oil
6 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Fri February 24, 2023
6 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


DRY GROUND BURNING (2022) with filmmaker Joana Pimenta

(Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós, 2022, 153 min, digital)

NOTE: due to unforeseen circumstances, Q&A with Joana Pimenta will be held virtually


A visionary hybrid of documentary and science-fiction, DRY GROUND BURNING takes place in an alternate present, in which a group of outlaw women dares to pirate, refine, and distribute petrol in the favelas of Bolsonaro’s Brazil. Between run-ins with inept security forces and tense negotiations with motorcycle-riding oil couriers, gang leader Chitara (Joana Darc Furtado) and her recently-paroled sister Léa (Léa Alves da Silva) reconnect and bond over the shared hardships of their upbringing, their desires, and their daring exploits. Shot with non-professional actors whose real lives sometimes intervene in the fictions on screen, DRY GROUND BURNING dares to imagine an alternative to state-supported systems of extraction, exploitation, and mass incarceration.

Note: due to unforeseen circumstances, co-director Joana Pimenta will not be in person, but will participate in a brief virtual Q&A after the film.

In Portuguese with English subtitles. 

About the artist:

Joana Pimenta is a filmmaker and writer from Portugal who lives and works in Lisbon, the U.S. and Brazil. Her 2016 film, An Aviation Field, premiered in competition at the 69th Locarno Film Festival, and was screened in the Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Rotterdam, CPH:Dox, Rencontres Internationales, Oberhausen, Valdivia, Mar del Plata, Edinburgh, among others, and received the Jury Award for Best Film in Competition at Zinebi ’58. She studied film and critical media practice at Harvard, where she currently teaches film.


About the series:


Across a feast of genres, including melodrama, comedy, thriller, and documentary, the films of Crude Aesthetics: Oil on Film reveal the entanglement of visual culture with the dark progress of the global oil industry during the past century. The power of oil, its predatory optimism, has left a fascinating, contradictory, and sometimes vanishingly subtle record in the history of cinema. Programmed as part of the Kaplan Humanities Center’s “Energies” Dialogues, Crude Aesthetics brings together screenings, talks, and discussions to explore the ways film media of the past century have shaped how we see — or learn not to see — the fuller impacts of our fatalistic dependence on oil.

Co-presented with support from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Climate Crisis and Media Arts Working Group, the Department of English, the Environmental Humanities Working Group, the Comparative Literary Studies program, the Department of Radio, Television, and Film, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, the Department of French & Italian, the Middle East and North African Studies program, the School of Communications Humanities Council, the Environmental Policy & Culture Program, and the Screen Cultures program at Northwestern University.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at block-museum@northwestern.edu