The Search for Emak Bakia
Oskar Alegria 2014

Sunday Jun 15, 2014
$13 at the door. Cash only.
The Old American Can Factory
(Roof and Courtyard)
Roof and Courtyard
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union

8:00PMDoors Open
8:30 PMTrivia!
9:00PMFilm Begins
10:45PMQ&A with director Oskar Alegria
11:30PMAfter Party sponsored by New Amsterdam Spirits
No refunds. In the event of rain, show will be rescheduled. Please visit for rain details. Seating is first come, first served. No outside alcohol is permitted.


This Show Presented in Partnership With
New Amsterdam
XO Projects
Runner & Stone

The Search for Emak Bakia (Oskar Alegria | 84 min.)

Official Link:


The direct translation of the Basque phrase “Emak Bakia” is “leave me alone,” yet in The Search for Emak Bakia this simple phrase and what it represents taunts filmmaker Oskar Alegria. The saying is emblazoned on a house belonging to the celebrated artist Man Ray and is the subject of his 1926 experimental film by the same name. The “search” refers to all aspects of “Emak Bakia,” as Alegria is more interested in the journey, not the destination. The film creates room for wonder, adventure, and invention as he splinters the title into a multitude of cinematic visions and peaceful explorations.

Following Man Ray’s elliptical path of coastlines, columns, sculptures and sleeping eyelids the film inspects the art in the artifacts along the way, often stopping to daydream with others who have also been lured in by this enigmatic phrase. Inquisitive interviews ranging from Parisian clowns to aging Romanian Princesses, inspired cinematography, elegantly composed writing and an open heart create a shadow of Man Ray’s film, an interpretation of the past that informed the flickering images of the original Emak Bakia.

Alegria’s vision may mirror Man Ray’s, but it is his own unique voice that leaves the indelible mark. The slowed down flash of lightning against a vivid house façade becomes a frame of painterly feeling. Sounds recorded throughout the house whisper within the soundtrack. Horizontal planes force your eye across unthinkable perspectives. Light, sound, time and space somehow act at the will of this visionary director in this promising feature film debut.

Similar in spirit to the collaged musings of Agnes Varda’s documentaries and the philosophical wit of Herzog, this film meditates on the genre in a way that tests and pushes its conventions much like its subject. The Search for Emak Bakia is a captivating archive of a chimeric world making Rooftop Films the perfect venue for this New York Premiere.

-Donna K.


Trained as a journalist, he began working as a reporter in Madrid on news programs for Canal Plus and CNN+. He has been an editor of cultural programs and the coordinator of shows dedicated to literature for the television channels Telemadrid (Los Cinco Sentidos-”The Five Senses”) and Euskal Telebista (Sautrela). In the area of gastronomic documentary, he has written and co-directed the series “Masters of Basque Cooking” for ETB-telebista with the chefs Arzak, Subijana, Aduriz, Berasategui and Arbelaitz. Since 2002, he writes travel reports for the supplement to El País, El Viajero, and is the author of a photographic artistic project called “Las ciudades visibles” (“The Visible Cities”), endorsed by the author Enrique Vila-Matas. Since 2009, he is a professor of documentary scripts in the Masters of Audiovisual Scripts from the University of Navarra and he has led a Workshop in Abstract Photography for children in the Chillida-Leku Museum.

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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