Still image from the film
"Santiago" João Moreira Salles, Brazil, 2006

This year’s films take up the crucial question posed by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben in his essay “Infancy and History:” what it means to say “I speak.” Documentary filmmakers in Latin America are increasingly looking for new ways of reconstructing private and public experience, a process that entails a radical rethinking of the personal and the social. These films speak to us in one-to-one terms, “from me to you,” demanding from each spectator an assumption of individual responsibility in the common search for answers. In the process, they contribute to the collective “family album” alluded to by Chilean film director Patricio Guzmán: “A country without documentary cinema is like a family without a photo album.”



Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, Program in Latin American Studies, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, University Center for Human Values, Council of the Humanities, Davis Center for Historical Studies.

  • All films to be screened in the original language with English subtitles.
  • All screenings and festival activities are free and open to the public.

The Princeton Documentary Festival was created to bring attention to the current creative explosion of documentary filmmaking in Latin America and Spain.  Through public screenings, commentary and discussions, the festival provides its audience with exceptional, cutting-edge films that would not be otherwise available.  The aim is to contribute to a more comprehensive vision of the cultures from which this work springs, while encouraging a more informed debate on the specific topic addressed in each series and on the current state of documentary production.