Elevate Difference

Reviews by Samantha McBean


Award-winning filmmakers Jessica Hope Woodworth and Peter Brosens come together again to make the visually stunning Altiplano. Shot primarily in the mountains of Peru, Altiplano tells the story of two women: Grace, an ex-war photographer from Belgium, and Saturnina, a woman about to be married in the village of Turubamba, high in the Andes. The main narrative strain in the film is the story of Saturnina’s village as it interacts with the Belgian miners, who are mining for gold in the Andes, and the Belgian doctors who run a cataract clinic. Tensions around the gringos increases as the people of Turumbamba begin to suffer from mercury poisoning, which Saturnina connects to the miners.

Tough Skin

In this collection of prose poetry, Sarah Eaton takes her reader on a wild romp, stomping through delicate issues of incest, death, and the family with the care that might be accorded by a child as it destroys a garden of hitherto well-tended flowers. While she brings a dark sense of humour to themes that might more traditionally be described as horrific, she also manages to litter her gory stories with surprisingly familiar and endearing characters such as the drunken uncle, or the teenage candystriper (hospital worker, for the uninitiated). What strikes me as most interesting about this collection is not her dark humour, but how this approach is particularly effective at handling what seems to be the overarching theme of the book: care-work and the people who do it. Eaton’s world is one that exists on the edge of violence, which some might say is also where the work of care exists.