International Film Festival to screen Penn State filmmaker's child-poverty short

October 16, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The International Film Festival Manhattan will screen Penn State assistant professor Boaz Dvir’s child-poverty short, “El País de la Eterna Primavera (Land of the Eternal Spring),” at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, in New York’s Producers Club, located at 358 W. 44th St.

In this documentary short, Dvir follows photojournalist Jason Henry (New York Times, Vice) and writer Erik Maza (Town & Country, Baltimore Sun) as they trek to Guatemala’s most infamous landfill, Teculután. The trip was part of the University of Florida’s international journalism class.

“Although they were college students then, Jason and Erik operated like true professionals,” said Dvir, who taught at the University of Florida before joining the faculty at Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. “Still, they were greatly affected by what they saw, and so was I.”

“El País” shows Henry and Maza trying to maintain their composure as they capture children searching for shreds of sustenance in a monstrous heap of human and animal waste and burning ash.

“It’s a scene of extreme contrasts,” said Dvir, an award-winning filmmaker (“Jessie’s Dad,” “A Wing and a Prayer”). “Children rampage through what I can only describe as smoke-spewing toxic garbage against a backdrop of the beautiful Sierra de las Minas mountains.”

Directed, produced and filmed by Dvir and edited by Penn State film-video alumnus Allan Guerrero, “El País” showcases Henry’s striking Teculután photographs.

With “El País,” Dvir hopes to help shine a light on one of the 21st century’s most baffling global issues — a billion children living in poverty.

“Considering the technological, agricultural and economic advances we’ve made in recent decades, we’ve run out of excuses to rid the world of child poverty,” said Dvir, a father of twin toddlers. “All children should have clean water, nutritious food, safe shelter, adequate health care and K-12 education.”

Last Updated October 16, 2018