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Skidmore College

Latin American film series continues on campus

March 19, 2015

The Latin American Studies Program at Skidmore College will continue its semester-long film series with four films and related discussions that explore contemporary Latin American culture and society.

The series, a component of the Skidmore course “Latin American and Latino Film,” is open to the public free of charge. The four films, all of which have English subtitles, will be screened on successive Wednesdays from March 25 through April 15, 7–9 p.m., in Emerson Auditorium of Palamountain Hall on the Skidmore campus.

Below is an overview of the films.

From La Yuma
In La Yuma, a young woman becomes
a boxer to seek a better life

March 25, Pelo Malo  (Bad Hair): In this film a nine-year-old Venezuelan boy, Junior, becomes obsessed with straightening his curly dark hair to feed his emerging fantasy of himself as a long-haired rock singer. His preening elicits a homophobic panic in his hard-working widowed mother, who can barely put food on the table for the family. As the date approaches for school photos to be taken, Junior becomes determined to change his image.

April 1, Who is Dayani Cristal?: Deep in the 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? The film follows a team of forensic anthropologists from the Pima County Morgue in Arizona, as they seek to answer these questions. The film gives rare insights into the human stories that are often ignored in the debate on immigration.

April 8, La Yuma: The film tells the story of a young woman who dreams of transcending her bleak life in the slums of Managua, Nicaragua, by becoming a boxer. Looking beyond the meager possibilities that are available to her, and ignoring the advice of her gang-member friends, she finds solace and hope in her training and falls in love with a middle-class journalism student. In the words of the film’s director, Florence Jaugey, the story reveals “the strength, the astuteness, and determination of the main character and reflects the feelings of a population that faces adversity and inequality.”

Chic and Rita
The animated film Chico and Rita

April 15, Chico y Rita: This animated film tells a love story and features the music, culture, and people of Cuba. Chico is a dashing piano player and Rita is an enchanting and beautiful Havana nightclub singer. When they meet, the sparks fly and they fall madly in love. An epic romance unfolds as the pair travels the glamorous stages of 1940s and ’50s in Havana, New York City, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Paris. The film’s soundtrack features the works jazz legends performed by contemporary singers.

The film series is sponsored by Skidmore’s Latin American Studies Program; the college’s the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports of Spain; and Pragda Spanish Film Club.

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