SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of March 20, 2024

So many movies, so many ceramics

When the Wind Blows

Ever-timely Downwind documentary sheds more light on the repercussions of US nuclear testing.

With seven Oscar wins now under its belt, including for Best Picture, most people have at least heard of director Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. And though the film about the father of the atomic bomb does shed light on a crucial series of events in world history, it’s still worth asking if the spotlight is aimed at the right places.

The 2023 documentary Downwind from director Mark Shapiro aims to answer that query by taking a closer look into the lives of the people most affected by the 928 nuclear bomb explosions that have taken place across the Southwest since the 1940s—people known as downwinders. An upcoming screening event at the main branch of the Santa Fe Public Library is particularly timely given ongoing efforts to compensate those downwinders (Lois Lipman’s extraordinary 2023 documentary First We Bombed New Mexico also examines these issues).

The US Senate recently passed for the second time an expanded Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) that would provide compensation to downwinders here, as well as in Utah, Montana and Guam, to name a few locales. While the legislation still needs to be taken up by the House and approved by President Biden, Shapiro hopes in the meantime more Americans will learn about the situation.

“The most surprising thing was when we were welcomed into the homes of people, many who identify as downwinders,” Shapiro tells SFR of making his film. “Our hope is that there is an awareness raised. We want the discussion. We want people to start talking about it. This should be a household topic: ‘What do you do to take care of our people here and all over the world?’”

The Downwind screening includes a Zoom Q&A with Utah-based playwright, activist and downwinder Mary Dickson, who appears in the film and whose play Exposed also details the impact of nuclear testing. She considers the screening “vital.”

“I’ve been working for 30 years trying to get justice for downwinders,” Dickson tells SFR. “It’s still relevant, people are still getting diagnosed because of long half-lifes; their cancers come back; they face crushing medical bills; and our government has turned its back on them. Oppenheimer was a good start, it started the discussion, but it’s up to us to tell the story of what came afterward.” (Adam Ferguson)

Downwind Screening: 5 pm Thursday, March 21. Free. Santa Fe Public Library (Main Branch), 145 Washington Ave., (505) 955-6781 register through

Ceramic ID

South Korean-born/Canada-based artist Joon Hee Kim’s whole life might have been different had she kept going in the pastry program for which she moved to the Great White North. Instead, she became enamored with ceramics; changed careers; became a master; won hearts at numerous notable residencies; exhibited in America, Germany and the UK and, now, comes to Santa Fe’s Kouri+Corrao with You, Me, Us. A ruminative exploration of identity and individuality, the show is all about faces and emotions, how we interweave with others—or don’t—and how we discover who we are. The detailed busts might look familiar to some, or strange to others, but there’s no denying they carry a certain magnetism. Perhaps you’ll even see yourself in one of the pieces. (Alex De Vore)

You, Me, Us Opening Reception: 5-7 pm Friday, March 22. Free. Kouri+Corrao, 3213 Calle Marie, (505) 820-1888

Skin Deep

Though tattoos have become ubiquitous to the point it’s weirder when someone doesn’t have some, their ultimate earliest days speak to ancient sensibilities, primal notions and tribal meaning. And if you want to deepen your appreciation for one of the most beautiful yet meaningful art forms around, look no further than a screening of the film Paaqtuq: A Tupik Mi Film at the Museum of International Folk Art this week. In its broadest sense, the film zeroes in on traditional Inuit tattooing and its place amongst the Inuit people, as well as its significance against the backdrop of Western society’s influence. (ADV)

Paaqtuq: A Tupik Mi Film Screening: 2 pm Saturday, March 23. Free. Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo, (505) 476-1204


If you still haven’t had enough film in Santa Fe this week, look to the New Mexico History Museum’s Femme Frontera Filmmaker Showcase. Curated by members of Latine-led film org Femme Frontera, whose members hail from New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond, the program is dedicated to the experiences of women, nonbinary folks and others from within the LGBTAIA+ spectrum. This means multiple narrative shorts, music videos and documentaries too numerous to begin to list here, and it’s all crammed into the low-commitment period of two hours. In summation: A bunch of badass women and nonbinary people have a film fest centering marginalized voices, and it’s free to attend. Sold! (ADV)

Femme Frontera Filmmaker Showcase: 2-4 pm Sunday, March 24. Free. New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave., (505) 476-5100

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