Two young boys seating in an elementary school classroom in active and animated discussion.

What Are We Doing Here Together?

Eric Baudelaire and Tamar Guimarães
Friday, February 14, 2020 at 7PM
  • Un Film Dramatique (2019)
  • By Eric Baudelaire

Eric Baudelaire’s principle that “we would make a film that starts as a film about them, slowly becoming a film made with them, and eventually, after four years, it would end up as a film by them,” produces a brilliantly incisive and intimate feature film that was shot over four years with a group of middle-school students from the Dora Maar School in Saint-Denis, France. Riffing on their own lives, and all that is happening politically and socially around them, the young artists use the implicitly collaborative process of filmmaking as an explicit way to make their own voices heard. Going up against the power structures inherent to the world they will one day inherit, they debate issues of discrimination in the face of the current struggles around racism and immigration in Europe to attempt to answer the central question: “What are we doing here together?”

  • By Tamar Guimarães

Bubbling underneath the wryly comedic attempts to rehearse a dramatization of Machado de Assis’s nineteenth-century satirical novel, The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, lies is a searing critique of the racism and sexism of Brazilian society. O Ensaio follows a group of performers directed by a young artist, Isa, as they encounter multiplying difficulties putting together a play for an exhibition. Punctuated by the neurotic repetitions of rehearsal structures and the accompanying group dynamics, the screenplay was developed by Tamar Guimarães in tandem with the cast of largely nonprofessional actors. Described by the artist as a film about “short-lived revolutionary actions,” O Ensaio delves into 1880 Machado de Assis’s prediction that, although the end of slavery would come, “everything would remain the same.”

Refreshments will be served.

Main Image: Eric Baudelaire, Un Film Dramatique (2019). Courtesy the artist and The Cinema Guild.

Two people wearing victorian style mourning clothes mill about a funeral scene as a man with gray hair dressed similarly sits up in a coffin talking to a Black female director wearing contemporary clothing.

Tamar Guimarães, O Ensaio (2019), Courtesy of the artist and Arsenal-Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.

Eric Baudelaire, Un Film Dramatique (2019).

Tamar Guimarães, O Ensaio (2019).

Dates + Tickets

What Are We Doing Here Together?
Eric Baudelaire and Tamar Guimarães
Friday 14
7:00 PM
February 2020
$10 / RPI Students: in advance $6, same day FREE
As part of
Presented By

EMPAC Spring 2020

Event Type



EMPAC Spring 2020 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; and Vlaamse Gemeenschap, department of Culture, Youth, and Media.