Expired June 4, 2021 3:59 AM
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Melting Snow is a short archival documentary exploring the coloniality of Puerto Rico’s labor through the symbol of water. The documentary centers around the 1952 event during which the mayor of San Juan, Felisa Rincón de Gautier, partnered with Eastern Airlines to transport two tons of snow from the United States to Puerto Rico. The snow was a gift, meant to delight Puerto Ricans with a white, American Christmas. However, as the spectacle unfolds, a lopsided transaction is revealed: planes brought a fundamentally capitalistic experience of instant gratification in the form of snow; these planes then returned to the U.S. transporting Puerto Rican cheap labor to live in what has come to be known as el barrio. As the snow melts, we begin to understand Puerto Rico’s colonial predicament condensed in this empty gift. Water tracks the diaspora to the mainland, taking on various forms as it completes its natural hydrologic cycle, a visual illustration of colonialism backwards and forwards in time. We travel from the fading mirage of melting snow to an approaching hurricane Maria, washing away the fiction of America as a paternalistic colonial power.

  • Year
  • Language
    English, Spanish
  • Country
    U.S.A., Puerto Rico
  • Premiere
    Philadelphia Premiere // Estreno en Filadelfia
  • Director
    Janah Elise