Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
355 Roth Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Stanford Department of Art & Art History presents Users, a film by Natalia Almada.
Users begins with a mother’s question–will my children love the perfect machines more than they love me, their imperfect mother? She pushes the button and a smart crib lulls her crying baby to sleep, flawlessly every time. This question guides her inquiry into the intimate relationship we have with technology that is increasingly driving all aspects of our society. We explore the unintended and often dehumanizing consequences of our society's embedded belief that technological progress will lead to the betterment of humanity. Is technological progress inevitable? Are we all increasingly isolated? Do we really have agency to direct its course? Is technology an expression of our humanity or is technology destroying our humanity? The film will be a critical and intimate meditation on these questions.
Users traverses places ranging from the largest indoor vertical farm in the world to the perfect artificial wave, from an IVF embryo lab to a fiber optic cable landing. Invisible infrastructure that we all rely on is made visible. Our reliance on machines and our alienation from each other is palatable. Urgent global issues like climate change and privacy are explored from the intimate perspective of a mother thinking, worrying and loving her children.
Learn more at http://www.altamurafilms.com/.
MacArthur Fellow and two-time recipient of the Sundance Documentary Directing Award for her film El General in 2009 and Users in 2021. Natalia Almada's directing credits include Todo lo demás (New York Film Festival 2016), El Velador (Cannes 2011), Al Otro Lado (Tribeca 2005) and All Water has a Perfect Memory (Sundance 2002).
Almada’s films have screened at Documenta13, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, and The 2008 Whitney Biennial. All three feature documentaries have broadcast on the award-winning series POV. Almada has received the Guggenheim, USA Artists, Alpert, and MacDowell fellowships. Almada graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Mexico City and San Francisco.
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