The California State University, Dominguez Hills Department of Modern Languages is pleased to present its second annual Latin American Film Festival, which will air seven feature-length films and one short film over four days, Feb. 17 and 22, and March 1 and 3, in the Loker Student Union. The festival is free and open to the public.
The movies, presented in Spanish and most with English subtitles, focus on social criticism.
“These are tough, very real movies,” says Benito Goméz, festival coordinator and associate professor of modern languages at CSU Dominguez Hills. “The idea is to make people think and to show the realities of Latin America and to spark discussion about social issues.”
Opening the festival on Feb. 17 are two films selected by the Fundación Salvadoreña para las Artes (Salvadoran Foundation for the Arts): “Children and Migration” — the festival’s only short duration film — and “La Vida Loca,” a 2008 documentary about street gangs in El Salvador directed by French-Spanish documentarian Christian Poveda, who was killed a year later by members of the same gang the film documents. These films will be shown back to back beginning at noon.
“‘La Vida Loca’ is a graphic film, but it delivers the message it’s intended to. It’s a sad story,” said Sandra Mendoza, executive director for the Fundación Salvadoreña para las Artes.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22, the festival continues with a screening at 1 p.m. of “Tony Manero,” a Chilean movie which centers on a serial killer obsessed with John Travolta’s character in “Saturday Night Fever.” Then at 4 p.m. will be “El cielito,” a 2004 Argentinean drama about an orphaned drifter who cares for the infant son of neglectful parents.
Two critically acclaimed films from Mexico and Cuba will screen at 1 and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1. First, the 2000 Academy Award-nominated “Amores perros,” which is sometimes referred to as “Mexican Pulp Fiction,” followed by the 2003 Havana Film Festival winner, “Suite Habana,” which follows several people throughout one day in Cuba.
The last day of the festival, Thursday, March 3, features a comedic drama from Argentina, “La ciénaga,” which depicts two families whose adults find solace in drinking to relieve family tensions, and is the winner of the 2001 Uruguayan Film Critics Association Award for Best Latin American Film; and the Peruvian/Spanish film, “La teta asustada,” which explores abusive military tactics imposed on women and was a 2009 Academy Awards nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. The films will be shown at 1 and 4 p.m., respectively.
Following each film, professors from CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Long Beach, UCLA, Pierce College, Scripps College and Case Western Reserve University, will conduct, in English, a presentation and Q & A session during which audience members can engage in discussion. For a schedule of show times, click here.
On-campus parking is available and costs $4. Daily permits can be purchased using cash, credit or debit cards at kiosk machines located in each lot.
For more information about 2011 Latin American Film Festival at CSU Dominguez Hills, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the CSU Dominguez Hills modern languages program, click here or call (310) 243-1021.