The first few frames of [Professor] Jose Carlos Teixeira’s new film give an instant glimpse into the emotional heavy lifting ahead.
An African-American man with thinning gray hair and beard faces away from the camera. There is no music, no movement at all except for his quiet breathing. In the next frame he faces forward, eyes closed and fluttering slightly.
“It’s like Hell, like they describe Hell is,” the man says shortly after he opens his eyes. “It’s a place of torture, a place where you don’t find your way out. It’s burning you, it’s consuming you. And you’re just by yourself.
“That’s what depression seemed like to me.”
This is “ON EXILE: fragments in search of meaning,” the first of two of Teixeira’s short documentary-style films opening at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday.