Free Latin American Film Series this Weekend

This weekend we celebrate the final weeks of our beautiful exhibition Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World with a free two-day film series. The seven films in this series explore themes from the exhibition–from the lasting impacts of colonialism to the many hardships of Latin American people to guerrilla uprisings against oppressive rulers.

Saturday’s program includes a fascinating selection of feature films. The series kicks off at 1 pm with Academy Award nominated Peruvian film La teta asustada (The Milk of Sorrow).

Mexican film El Violin (The Violin) follows with the story of a family leading a double life as humble musicians and also supporters of the campesino peasant guerrilla movement against the oppressive government. Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan’s Labyrinth, called the film “one of the most amazing Mexican films in many a year.”

Saturday’s films end with the Bolivian film El regalo de la Pachamama (The Gift of the Pachamama) which follows a father and son along the “Salt Trail” trade route for months. Through this excursion, the young boy discovers what his grandmother meant by “The Gift of Pachamama.”

Sunday’s films include compelling shorts and documentaries. The day starts with Mexican documentary Teshuinada, Semana Santa Tarahumara (Teshuinada, Holy Week at the Tarahumara) which was made in the Holy Week of 1979 in Munérachi, a town in Batopilas, Chihuahua. The film explores ritual and the coming together of pre-Hispanic and Christian worldviews.

Following is Solo un cargador (Porter), a beautiful documentary about the hard life of the cargadores who trek through the mountains and jungles of Peru with baggage on their backs. The film has won numerous awards for best short, including from the American Institute Film Festival and the Festival International du film d’Aubagne.

Another Peruvian documentary–El puente dorado (The Golden Bridge)–looks at the fascinating Qeswachaka hanging bridge of Cuzco which is hand-woven every year from local grass.

The series finishes with Mexican documentary film La pequeña semilla en el asfalto (The Little Seed in the Asphalt). The film looks at the lives of four youths from Chiapas who move to the city to study and pursue their dreams.

This weekend’s series is not to be missed. Saturday’s program will be followed by a roundtable discussion with some of the directors and actors (the roundtable discussion starts at 6:45 pm, after the last film of the day). And make sure to give yourself time to stop by Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World one last time before the exhibition closes on January 29.

All films in this series are free but reservations are required. Reserve your tickets online or by calling 323 857-6010.

Alex Capriotti

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