Currently re-editing my last documentary
The Netherlands, 2013
Color, HDV, 16:9, Pal, Dolby Surround

The Day we Surrender to the Air

Surrendering to the air means floating. It means unlimited movement, and this is precisely what director Antonio Jose Guzman does in his project The Day We Surrender to the Air. Guzman got his DNA analyzed in the United States and discovered that he is of African, Central and North American, and European lineage. His genetic identity was based on the diasporas of his forefathers. So how did his parents end up in Panama?

The Day We Surrender to the Air
Antonio Jose Guzman, The Netherlands, 2009
Color, HDV, 16:9, Pal, Dolby Surround

In this first part of what ultimately should become a trilogy, Guzman offers up an experimental mix of footage from places where he has roots with interviews and dance. His trip around the world and quest to find himself opens up a wider perspective on the countless surprising connections between the people of all continents. The question arises as to what nationality actually means. Is it anything more than a passport? After all, Guzman feels more linked to his African ancestors than his Dutch ones. How do the various elements of his identity relate to one another? Starting with Guzman’s own DNA, his “atom,” as he calls it, the film opens a window to the world.

In The Day We Surrender to the Air, I use myself as an example of the migration between the so-called Old and New Worlds. My identity is the product of my ancestors’ traveling experiences through Polynesia, Eurasia, Mesopotamia, Africa and eventually to America and Europe. This implicates that my genetic identity is based on the various Diasporas of my ancestors, and thus on the decisions they made in migrating to some place or to another.
A.J. Guzman

Surrender at the IDFA
Surrender Kill your Darlings at the IDFA

Official Selection:

IDFA  Amsterdam International Documentary Festival

Amsterdam Film Experience - Cine Trans Europe

Thessaloniki (Greece) Documentary Festival Images of the 21st Century

8ème Festival International Signes de Nuit Festival de création audiovisuelle et cinématographique à Paris, France

Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris, France

Africa in the Picture Film festival, Amsterdam

Noordelijk Film Festival, Leeuwarden, NL