On Screen/In Person presents ‘Foreign Puzzle’ at Carnegie H

On Screen/In Person, brings new, American, independent films and their creators to communities across the mid-Atlantic region. A total of six films and their filmmakers tour across the region each year. Each tour engagement includes a public screening, and a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker. Carnegie Hall is proud to have been selected as a host site for the 2015-2016 series.

The first film screening, “Foreign Puzzle,” will be held in the Hamilton Auditorium on Monday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. Cost of admission is $5.

“Foreign Puzzle” is an intimate documentary that captures the journey of a dancer, Sharon Marroquin, as she communicates the impermanence of life through dance while juggling the roles of a recently divorced parent (of a 6 year old), a choreographer, and a school teacher amidst intensive treatments for breast cancer.

Cancer as a disease affects the entire family unit. Dali, Sharon’s son, was five when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like any mother, Sharon was very worried for her son. Dali was at the perfect age to process complex concepts of life and death in very simplistic terms. How does his understanding of life and death influence Sharon’s fears?

Life is never simple. It was never designed that way. Sharon and Pepe got divorced two months before her diagnosis. Sharon needs support, Pepe needs space, and Dali needs his parents. How does breast cancer affect all of their needs?

For 18 months, the film followed the struggles of Sharon Marroquin. Suspended between life and death, she begins to channel her uncertainty about mortality into an artistic project. The artistic project, “The Materiality of Impermanence,” and the subsequent creative process allows her to escape to another realm that is not confined by physical limitations, disease, child-rearing, teaching, and running a home. How this escape heals and shapes Sharon’s perceptions of life, death, and living forms the narrative arc of the film.

The making of “Foreign Puzzle” was born through filmmaker Chithra Jeyaram’s personal brush with cancer. “As someone who experienced the cancer scare when I was diagnosed with a lump in my breast (which thankfully turned out to be benign), I felt compelled to document this story.” Jeyaram goes on to say, “A diseased human body is a chaotic system, and as a filmmaker who also spent considerable amount of time in the field of medicine, I am interested in telling stories of the disruptive consequences of illness from unique perspectives.”

Chithra will be on site for the evening, greeting patrons at a reception prior to the screening. The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. She will remain available for a question-and-answer session after the film, joined (via Skype) by star of the film, and cancer survivor, Sharon Marroquin. Also participating in the event is Karen Jones of the Robert C. Byrd Clinic, as the clinic prepares for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Greenbrier County.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and RCBC has several events planned throughout the area. For the past 4 years RCBC has received grant funding through the West Virginia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen to provide free screening mammograms, educate medical providers on the topic of breast cancer clinical trials, promote community awareness, and provide travel reimbursement to women receiving breast cancer treatment. These monies have allowed RCBC to provide over 450 women without insurance access to free mammograms, trained 200 WVSOM students on breast cancer clinical trial research, and reimbursed travel cost to four women who required travel to Charleston, Charlottesville, and Morgantown for treatment.

It is the mission of Robert C. Byrd Clinic and The WV Affiliate of Susan G. Komen to provide breast health services to women who are uninsured or underinsured, provide breast cancer education, and promote the importance of early detection to the women of Greenbrier, Pocahontas and Monroe counties. Please stop by their booth for more information regarding programs and services in your area.

On Screen/In Person is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts.




Sharon Marroquin and son, Dali
Sharon Marroquin and son, Dali

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