Two Refusals is a feature-length experimental essay film that looks to sites of refusal, rejection, and revolt across India and Africa. Weaving together personal reflections on the artist’s family history as freedom fighters against the occupying Portuguese forces in Goa with stories of liberation and resistance across the Goan diaspora, such as the story of Sita Valles—the fierce Angolan-born Goan revolutionary — the film focuses on the bonds of solidarity that developed across the two continents against the Portuguese Empire. A personal journey through ancestry, anti-colonialism, and harbingers of dissent across India and Africa, inspired from the myths of Portugal’s “oldest work of epic poetry,” The Lusiads, the work repositions key mythological figures to ask how one can refuse an empire.
Suneil Sanzgiri is an Indian-American artist, researcher, and filmmaker. His work spans experimental video and film, essays, and installations, and contends with questions of identity, heritage, culture and diaspora in relation to structural violence. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Masters of Science in Art, Culture and Technology in 2017. Sanzgiri’s work has been screened extensively at festivals and galleries nationally and internationally, including International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Camden International Film Fesitval, IndieLisboa, DocLisboa, Punto de Vista, Viennale, LA Film Forum, e-Flux, 25 FPS festival, and has won awards at BlackStar Film Fest, Open City Documentary Festival, VideoEx, Images Festival, and Chicago Underground Film Festival as well as Special Jury mentions at the European Media Arts Festival and Iowa City Docs. Sanzgiri was a 2016 resident of the SOMA program in Mexico City, a Flaherty NYC co-programmer in 2020 - 2021, a resident of the Pioneer Works Studio Residency in Spring 2021, an inaugural recipient of the Line of Sight Fellowship, and will be a MacDowell Fellow in Winter 2021. He was named as one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in Filmmaker Magazine’s Fall 2021 issue. He is currently working on his first feature-length film.