STRANGE TRUTH: An Evening with Cecilia Aldarondo

Wednesday, March 24, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (ET)
OCL Virtual Event
Event Type
Weissinger, James R
Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities


Strange Truth 2021 explores the non-fiction imagination in the films of Garrett Bradley, Sam Feder, and Cecilia Aldarondo.  


All events are free and open to the public and will be held virtually, hosted by the Bryn Mawr Film Institute in Theater 5, their online film hub. The live events are conversations with the filmmakers, and all the films will be available to stream for a limited time prior to each event.


Once you register for a filmmaker conversation, you will receive a link to stream their film/s in the days leading up to the event.






WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2021, 7:00-8:00pm

Cecilia Aldarondo is a documentary filmmaker from the Puerto Rican diaspora, who makes films at the intersection of poetics and politics.  Her 2020 film LANDFALL premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, which called the film a love letter to “an island unfairly battered by increasingly dangerous weather and corrupt bureaucracy.”  Aldarondo will discuss LANDFALL and her previous film MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART.

This event is free.  Please register in advance to receive the Zoom link and information on how to stream Aldarondo’s films LANDFALL and MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART in advance of the event.  Register here:


2020, 1hr 33min

Directed by Cecilia Aldarondo, produced by Ines Hofmann Kanna

Viewers will have a 4-day viewing window to stream this film, from Sunday, March 21, 12:00noon to Wednesday, March 24, 7:00pm.

“ exquisite film, by turns tender and compassionate, cinematically adventurous and self-assured.”
—Brett Story, Filmmaker Magazine

Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, LANDFALL is a cautionary tale for our times. Set against the backdrop of protests that toppled the US colony’s governor in 2019, the film offers a prismatic portrait of collective trauma and resistance. While the devastation of María attracted a great deal of media coverage, the world has paid far less attention to the storm that preceded it: a 72-billion-dollar debt crisis that crippled Puerto Rico well before the winds and waters hit. LANDFALL examines the kinship of these two storms — one environmental, the other economic — juxtaposing competing utopian visions of recovery. Featuring intimate encounters with Puerto Ricans as well as the newcomers flooding the island, LANDFALL reflects on a question of contemporary global relevance: when the world falls apart, who do we become?


2016, 1hr 12min

Directed by Cecilia Aldarondo

Viewers will have a 4-day viewing window to stream this film, from Sunday, March 14, 12:00noon to Wednesday, March 17, 7:00pm.

“So raw, it speaks universally for the unresolved family conflicts that are common to all.” —Laura Davis, One Room With A View

Combining a wealth of recently discovered home movies, video, and written documents with artfully shot contemporary interviews and vérité footage, MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama.  The intimate lens of the film refracts on a wider cultural context: the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and in particular, how families treat their LGBT members in a Latin American cultural and religious context.  A story about the mistakes of the past and the second chances of the present, MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART explores the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS and how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.



Programmed by Haverford College Visual Studies faculty Vicky Funari and John Muse, along with Patricia White (Swarthmore College) and Kate Thomas and Julien Saudeau (Bryn Mawr College). 



  • Haverford College: John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, Visual Studies, VCAM, Haverford College Libraries

  • Swarthmore College: Film and Media Studies, Black Studies, Black Cultural Center

  • Bryn Mawr College: Film Studies, English, French and Francophone Studies 

  • Bryn Mawr Film Institute

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