Professor Yehuda Sharim 's film entitled “El Ojo Comienza En La Mano,” which he calls a tribute to campesino histories in rural California told through the art of local farm worker and painter Rubén Sanchéz, will be featured at the Oscar-nominated International Film Festival in St. Louis in early November.
He will then travel with his film to festivals in Toronto, Helsinki, New York, Wuppertal, Antwerp, Sarasota and Hollywood.
“The overwhelming success of ‘El Ojo’ is a testimony to the great artists and visionaries that are among us: from Rubén Sanchéz to Richard Gomez, Gloria Sandoval, Ana Fabian Lomeli and so many more. By ‘greatness,’ I am not talking merely about artistic excellence but magnanimity beyond capitalistic and other exploitative structures — the courage to share rather than think only about ways to be selfish,” Sharim said. “We should learn from them. We should listen better. We are surrounded by world events of horror and grief, and their artistry reminds us that there is nothing more valuable than solidarity and the courage to love against all odds. Rubén’s artwork is that: the manifestation of tenderness, and the courage that comes with acts of compassion.”
The award-winning “El Ojo Comienza En La Mano,” which has been invited to festivals worldwide, will return home for a screening Friday at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, 645 W. Main St., at 7 p.m.
“El Ojo Comienza En La Mano” (“The Eye Begins in The Hand”) 2022, is already the winner and finalist in more than seven international awards, and Sharim’s most recent films will be shown at such upcoming forums as the Ethnogram Film Festival, Paris (“El Ojo”); the American Studies-Obama Institute, Mainz, Germany (“Experiments in Freedom”); the University of Münster, Germany, (“Experiments”); and the 22nd Aporia International Village, Gangwon-do, Korea, (“El Ojo”), as well as the 2023 Society for Visual Anthropology Film & Media Festival Official Selection, Screening, Toronto; the El Ojo Cojo Film Festival in Madrid; the 2023 Antwerp International Film Festival, Belgium, and many others.
Sharim, with the Department of Global Arts, Media, and Writing, has won many awards for his films, which are inspired by people who refuse to surrender to the many obstacles, indignities, and circumstances they struggle with in their daily lives. Through them, Sharim explores ways to cultivate equality and solidarity.