another day without a future, but what the hell another day...

An experimental docufiction created with Johnny Rodrigo aka 'Mayor of the block'

Either, I am a traveler in distant times, and am faced with a prodigious spectacle which would be almost entirely unintelligible to me and might indeed provoke me to mockery or disgust, or I am a traveler of my own day, hastening a search for a vanished reality. In either case, I am the loser, for today, as I go groaning among the shadows, inevitably I miss the spectacle that is now taking place.”

— Juan Downey, The Laughing Alligator

Screenings

Living Los Sures, Ildiko Butler Gallery, Fordham University, New York, NY, 2014
Museo ExTeresa Arte Actual, Mexico, 2012
Carnival of eCreativity, India, 2012
Fine Art Film Festival Szolnok, Hungary, 2012
Living Los Sures: Preview in the Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2012
Installation view at Ildiko Butler Gallery, Fordham University, New York, NY, 2014

Director’s Statement

Working with eleven other artists in 2012 as part of the UnionDocs Collaborative, we were asked to respond to the documentary Los Sures from 1984 about the predominantly Latino community in the Southside of Williamsburg we were currently living in.

I struggled with this prompt because I was fearful of engaging in the same outsider probing that had pestered my community back home; altruistic outsiders with cameras poured in every summer to crash my tribe’s annual pow-wow. In order to deal with this paralyzing awareness, I decided to create an open framework where representations of community members were self-generated.

The documentary Los Sures presents the South Williamsburg of the eighties as a desperate crime ridden neighborhood. Whether this was true or not, walking these same blocks today it seems that all this illicit activity has been ushered inside, as if a vacuum sucked up all the cheap thrills of the neighborhood, and dumped them into the hidden backrooms of bodegas and bars. I started to make friends in the neighborhood who would invite me to the stock rooms of convenience stores to gamble and drink. At Union Deli, a bodega on Union Avenue, I met Johnny Rodrigo, a long time Brooklyn hustler who was known as the ‘mayor of the block.’ We decided to make a film together.

The roles of this film were not defined. This was to become a process-oriented project. The process was the project. Johnny had little media literacy and relatively no experience or exposure to documentary. I quickly learned that Johnny had multiple personalities he would switch between and he wanted to make a film about coming to terms with his split self. I handed over the creative control of the project and followed Johnny’s lead. Using extreme DIY methods we began to weave together fragments of Johnny’s multiple personalities — acting and acting out across the neighborhood.

What the resulting film another day without a future, but what the hell another day lacks in cinematic form it makes up for in raw energy.”

— Adam Khalil

Director

Adam Khalil

Adam Khalil

Adam (Shingwak_Nehro_Rashad_Krebs) Khalil is a filmmaker, artist, and media archivist. His practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. Khalil’s work has been exhibited at Goldilocks Gallery (Philadelphia), Microscope Gallery (Brooklyn), Museo ExTeresa Arte Actual (Mexico City), Carnival of eCreativity (Bombay), and Fine Art Film Festival Szolnok (Hungary). Khalil was a UnionDocs Fellow from 2011-12 and a Gates Millennium Scholar. In 2011 he graduated from the Film and Electronic Arts program at Bard College. Khalil is currently in post-production on a feature film about the history of the Ojibway people with his collaborator and brother Zack Khalil.

Adam Khalil

Adam Khalil

Adam (Shingwak_Nehro_Rashad_Krebs) Khalil is a filmmaker, artist, and media archivist. His practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. Khalil’s work has been exhibited at Goldilocks Gallery (Philadelphia), Microscope Gallery (Brooklyn), Museo ExTeresa Arte Actual (Mexico City), Carnival of eCreativity (Bombay), and Fine Art Film Festival Szolnok (Hungary). Khalil was a UnionDocs Fellow from 2011-12 and a Gates Millennium Scholar. In 2011 he graduated from the Film and Electronic Arts program at Bard College. Khalil is currently in post-production on a feature film about the history of the Ojibway people with his collaborator and brother Zack Khalil.

Credits

Directed by Adam Khalil

Editor: Juan Daniel
Executive Producer: Fernandez Molero
Actor, Producer, Writer, Creator: Johnny Rodrigo

UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Director: André Almeida

UnionDocs Artistic Director: Christopher Allen

2011-2012 Collaborative Fellows: Adam Khalil, Alexandre Maia, Claire Richard, Elizabeth Lawrence, Kaitlin Prest, Lucas Carlisle, Meg Kelly, Oresti Tsonopoulos, Sonia Gonzalez, Olivia Koski

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