Event: To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Carnegie Mellon University and its Department of Modern Languages have partnered with the Latin American Cultural Union to present the Latinos In/On Film Festival 2012. Five films in four weeks will explore unique yet universal aspects of the challenges faced and triumphs won by Latino immigrants and exiles, as well as longstanding inhabitants of the American Southwest.
The festival aims to acknowledge the history and contributions of the diverse Latino population to the American experience and to recognize the accomplishments of Latino writers and filmmakers.
“Showing this particular group of films during Hispanic Heritage Month is not just to acknowledge recent Spanish-speaking immigrants to the U.S., but primarily to acknowledge the historical presence of Latinos here since Spanish colonial days and on into the 19th and early to mid 20th century, and beyond,” said Kenya C. Dworkin, associate professor of Hispanic Studies within the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences who is helping to organize the festival. “The Latino presence here is as much U.S. history as it is about more recent immigrants and exiles. These five films are a modest attempt at offering a glimpse of that vast experience as written and portrayed by U.S. Latinos.”
Following each film, there will be opportunities for questions and discussion. Light refreshments will be served.
Sept. 20: “…y no se lo tragó la tierra” (Severo Pérez, 1995, United States)
According to The New York Times, this film is a “landmark of Chicano cinema as an adaptation of Tomas Rivera’s 1971 novel of the same title. Told from the perspective of Marcos, the 12-year-old son of migrant Mexican-American farm workers, the film follows their travels over the course of a year, each of its 12 sections linked to a month of the calendar. The family starts off in Texas at the beginning of harvest season. Their hardscrabble journey takes them across the length and breadth of the Midwest.”
Sept: 26: “El Súper” (León Ichaso, 1979, United States)
IMDB.com calls the film, “A slice of life look at Roberto and Aurelia, Cuban exiles living in New York City with their 17-year-old daughter Aurelita. It is based on Ivan Acosta’s play of the same title. It’s February 1978; the winter is harsh, and for 10 years Roberto’s been the super of an apartment building, firing up the boiler, repairing windows, moving bags of garbage. He’s homesick for Cuba, stuck in repetitive conversations about the Bay of Pigs, Castro, and life back home.”
Oct. 3: “La guagua aerea” (Luis Molina Casanova, 1993, Puerto Rico)
In a review, the Commuting Island said the film is a “humorous but poignant chronicle of a particular kind of diaspora situation in which Puerto Ricans have been increasingly involved since the 1960s, and which consists of an incessant switching back and forth between the island and the United States. The ‘airbus,’ with its constant commuting between these two locations, traverses carefully guarded national airspaces, carrying people, identities, symbols and languages horizontally across nations.”
Oct. 6: “Nueba Yol” (Angel Muñiz, 1995, Dominican Republic)
Rotten Tomatoes wrote, “An immigrant struggles to make a new life in New York City. Amiable, big-hearted Balbuena, grieving over the recent demise of his much loved wife, decides he needs a change and so listens to the exciting pie-in-the-sky talk of his buddy Fellito who suggest that Balbuena leave the island and move to Nueba Yol (Dominican slang for the Big Apple).”
Oct. 12: “A Day Without a Mexican” (Sergio Arau, 2004, United States)
IMDB.com said the film “ponders the potentially catastrophic results that would occur if California-based Mexicans, who make up over a third of the state’s population, were to suddenly disappear. A series of characters show the apparent statistical impact of Mexicans on California’s economy, law enforcement and education systems as well as the resulting social unrest.”
Where: Porter Hall 100, Carnegie Mellon University
Time: 7:30 p.m.
By: Shilo Rea