UW-Green Bay to present Latin American Film Series in September, October

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, with support of the PRAGDA distribution company’s Spanish Film Club, will present a five-movie Latin American Film Series beginning Thursday, Sept. 18.

Admission to each of the movies is free, and snacks and refreshments will be provided. After each film, UW-Green Bay Spanish faculty members will lead a discussion session for attendees. All films will be shown in the Christie Theatre of the University Union on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

The films, dates and times are as follows:

Here and There (Aquí y Allá), 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18

Antonio Méndez Esparza / USA, Spain, Mexico / 110 min / 2012 / Spanish with English subtitles

aqui-y-allaAntonio Méndez Esparza’s directorial debut radiantly captures the complex homecoming of a loving father. In an unexpected take on the traditional immigrant story, Pedro returns home to a small mountain village in Guerrero, Mexico, after years of working in New York. He finds his daughters older and more distant than he imagined; his wife still has the same smile. The villagers think this year’s crop will be bountiful and there is work in a growing city nearby. But the locals are wise to a life of insecurity, and their thoughts are often of family members or opportunities far away, north of the border.

Bad Hair (Pelo Malo), 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25

Mariana Rondón / Venezuela / 93 min / 2013 / Spanish with English subtitles

bad-hairA 9-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother, in this tender but clear-eyed coming-of-age tale. Junior is a beautiful boy, with big brown eyes, a delicate frame, and a head of luxurious dark curls. But Junior aches to straighten those curls to acquire a whole new look befitting his emerging fantasy image of himself as a long-haired singer. As the opportunity approaches to have his photo taken for the new school year, that ache turns into a fiery longing. Junior’s mother, Marta, is barely hanging on. The father of her children has died, she recently lost her job as a security guard, and she now struggles to put a few arepas on the table for Junior and his baby brother. Junior doesn’t even know yet what it means to be gay, but the very notion prompts Marta to set out to “correct” Junior’s condition before it fully takes hold. “This is a story of people doing what they feel they have to, partly out of fear, but also out of love.” – Diana Vargas, Toronto International Film Festival.

Who Is Dayani Cristal? (¿Quién es Dayani Cristal?), 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2

Marc Silver / Mexico, USA / 85 min / 2014 / English and Spanish with English subtitles

dayani-cristalDeep in the sun-blistered Sonora desert beneath a cicada tree, Arizona border police discover a decomposing male body. Lifting a tattered T-shirt they expose a tattoo that reads “Dayani Cristal.” Who is this person? What brought him here? How did he die? And who—or what—is Dayani Cristal? Following a team of dedicated forensic anthropologists from the Pima County Morgue in Arizona, director Marc Silver seeks to answer these questions and give this anonymous man an identity. As the forensic investigation unfolds, Mexican actor and activist Gael Garcia Bernal retraces this man’s steps along the migrant trail in Central America. In an effort to understand what it must have felt like to make this final journey, he embeds himself among migrant travelers on their own mission to cross the border. He experiences first-hand the dangers they face and learns of their motivations, hopes and fears. As we travel north, these voices from the other side of the border wall give us a rare insight into the human stories, which are so often ignored in the immigration debate. Winner of the Sundance 2013 Cinematography award and nominated in the World Documentary Competition, Who Is Dayani Cristal? shows how one life becomes testimony to the tragic results of the U.S. war on immigration.

7 Boxes (7 Cajas), 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9

Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori / Paraguay / 105 min / 2014 / In Spanish, Guaraní, and Korean with English subtitles

7-cajasIt’s Friday night in Asunción, Paraguay, and the temperature is sweltering. Víctor, a 17-year-old wheelbarrow delivery boy, dreams of becoming famous and covets a fancy TV set in the infamous Mercado 4. He’s offered a chance to deliver seven boxes with unknown contents in exchange for a quick one hundred US dollars. But what sounds like an easy job soon gets complicated. Something in the boxes is highly coveted and Víctor and his pursuers quickly find themselves caught up in a crime they know nothing about. Reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire, 7 Boxes was declared of Cultural Interest by the National Secretary of Culture of Paraguay.

I Thought It Was a Party (Pensé que Iba a Haber Fiesta), 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16

Victoria Galardi / Argentina, Spain / 84 min / 2014 / Spanish with English subtitles

haber-fiestaDivorced and living with her teenage daughter, Lucía asks her close friend Ana to house-sit and look after her daughter while she goes away with her new partner. Ana spends her days lazing by the pool, afflicted by a deep loneliness until Ricki, Lucía’s ex-husband comes to pick up his daughter and an affair that will have profound implications on her friendship with Lucía begins. Ana and Ricki throw themselves into an intense romance that lasts until the day Lucía comes back… An honest and poignant commentary on friendship, I Thought it was a Party is also a film about the search for love, loneliness, fear, guilt, and the world of women.


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