LIBERTADOR (THE LIBERATOR) A VENEZUELAN FILM BY DIRECTOR ALBERTO ARVELO, 2013, 119 MIN.
'The Liberator' (Libertador) a 119 min. 2013 Venezuelan film by director
Alberto Arvelo. In Spanish with subtitles. Director Alberto Arvelo (“Cyrano Fernandez”) -- a SLIFF alum -- and Oscar®-nominated writer Timothy J. Sexton (“Children of Men”) -- a St. Louis native -- team up to tell the epic story of Venezuelan military and political leader Simón Bolívar, who played a crucial role in freeing Latin America from the grip of the Spanish Empire. Fighting more than 100 battles, Bolívar’s army never conquered -- it liberated. This lavish historical biography stars Édgar Ramírez (“Carlos”) as Bolívar and features Maria Valverde and Danny Huston. The LA Times writes: “Bolívar manages to rile the troops with passionate speeches on freedom, equality and dignity — themes that resonate today be it in Ferguson, Mo., or Ukraine…. (T)he writing here is as refined as it is moving.” In Spanish with English subtitles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CkGqclYbeo
'CESAR CHAVEZ' THE MOVIE BY DIRECTOR DIEGO LUNA 2014, 102 MIN.
Iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez was instrumental in drastically improving conditions for farm workers without firing a shot. Yet in actor-turned-director Diego Luna's view, what made all this so extraordinary was Chavez's undeniable ordinariness. "Everyone would say, 'Cesar could be in a room for three hours and you wouldn't notice. Then he would be like, "My name is Cesar Chavez, and I want to say this and that," and everyone would go, "Oh my God, that's Cesar Chavez!" ' It's the story of a common guy," says Luna. "He's just another (person). It could be you, it could be me. You don't have to be gifted. You don't have to have special powers."
The youthful-looking, 34-year-old Luna, known for his performances in "'Y Tu Mamá También," "Milk," and many other films, sees the new biopic "Cesar Chavez" as the story of "a man who promoted nonviolence, who talked about change being in our hands. That change is about getting involved, participating, being active, being loud and finding those who think like you do. Simple as that. It makes you stronger. It's not just an important message for our community today, but for everyone in the world."
The film relates the story of the late-60's national grape boycott that Chavez masterminded, rather than trying to tell the man's entire life story in two hours. It focuses on details such as Chavez's struggle to hold the fragile coalition of farm workers together, his low-key personality and his sometimes strained familial relationships. The "Cesar Chavez" cast includes America Ferrera as his wife, Helen Chavez; Rosario Dawson as National Farm workers Association (later United Farm Workers) co-founder Dolores Huerta; co-producer John Malkovich as a composite character representing the growers; and Michael Peña ("Crash," "End of Watch") as Chavez. WATCH THE TRAILER IN YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awP3yXv-4ng
VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE AT: http://www.cesarchavezmovie.com/
'TIO PAPI' BY JOEY DEDIO, U.S. 2013, 90 MIN, ENGLISH & SPANISH.
Screenwriter/star Joey Dedio writes and stars in his family comedy Tio Papi, a 90 min film. Hard-working but fun-loving Ray Ray Dominguez (Joey Dedio) lives a bachelor’s life and dreams of leaving the New York City barrio for a more carefree existence in Miami. But one day everything changes, and he becomes a reluctant “Tio Papi,” or Uncle Daddy, to his sister’s six children, whose ages range from 6 to 16. Now, in charge of raising this energetic (and expensive) clan, Ray Ray must make important decisions on what life really is all about. Combining heart-warming drama with light-hearted comedy, “Tio Papi” is an upbeat story of life’s unexpected surprises and what ultimately matters the most – the love of family. The “Tio Papi” cast includes Kelly McGillis (“Top Gun”) and Frankie Faison (“The Wire”). Recommended for ages 10 and older.
'MARIACHI GRINGO' BY TOM GUSTAFSON, U.S., 2011, 1.07 MIN., ENGLISH & SPANISH.
Edward (Shawn Ashmore of “X-Men”) is rapidly approaching 30. He feels depressed and stifled living with his parents in small Nebraska town. After yet another argument with his mother about his life, he winds up in a local Mexican restaurant, where the patriarch is delighted that the young man takes an interest in and appreciates his music. Feeling stuck in his dead-end life, Edward decides to follow a new path and runs away to Mexico to be a mariachi singer. Arriving in Guadalajara, capital of the region where mariachi started in the 18th century, the gringo is promptly shaken down by some crooked cops before meeting a beautiful young woman who encourages him to chase his dream. This touching film is a musical tour-de-force exploring the reality of ‘“following your dream” across cultural, personal, social, and geographical borders. “Mariachi Gringo” won Best Film and Best Actress at the 2012 Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival.
'EL ALMA DE LAS MOSCAS' (THE SOUL OF FLIES) BY JONATHAN CENZUAL BURLEY, SPAIN, 201 0, 78 MIN., SPANISH.
By turns comic, poignant, absurd, and profoundly moving, “The Soul of Flies” tells the story of the two sons of Evaristo de la Sierra. The brothers have never met their father and are unaware of each other’s existence, but when Evaristo sends them a letter inviting them to his funeral, the two meet at a train station – though the train hasn’t gone by in years – and set off on a strange odyssey through a barren landscape. Along a path of memories, fables, and dreams, they encounter a startling array of weird and wonderful characters – a suicidal narcoleptic, a man angrily opposed to funerals, a pack of thieving musicians, a young woman in love with the spring – who collectively guide the brothers in their unusual journey.
'LA SIRGA' BY WILLIAM VEGA, COLOMBIA, 2012, 88 MIN., SPANISH.
Alice is helpless: War memories invade her mind like threatening thunder. Uprooted by the armed conflict, she tries to reshape her life in La Sirga, a decadent hostel on the shores of a great lake in the highlands of the Andes. There, on a swampy and murky beach, she attempts to settle down, but her fears and the threat of war resurface to threaten Alice again. “Impeccably elegant and quietly devastating,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. “Vega’s mastery of old-school arthouse technique is impressive” “La Sirga” won both the Special Jury Prize for the Director and the award for Best Cinematography at the 2012 Lima American Film Festival.
'RISCADO' (CRAFT') BY GUSTAVO PIZZI, BRAZIL, 2010, 85 MIN. , PORTUGUESE & FRENCH.
In “Craft,” which features rich visuals and a down-to-earth tone, Bianca (Karine Teles, wife of director Pizzi) manages a precarious living as a talented but underemployed actress in Rio de Janeiro. Performing for private events dressed as female movie icons, Bianca is troubled by the thought she has missed her chance at a “big break.” Despite her doubts, she perseveres with single-minded dedication to her craft until an audition leads to a rare opportunity and possible redemption for years of social marginality. But her world may still prove too insecure, even for one as gifted and deserving as Bianca. Teles’ remarkable lead performance drives this drama of everyday tragedy in the working world of an artist. Teles was named Best Actress at the 2010 Rio De Janeiro International Film Festival.
'HISTORIAS QUE SO EXISTEM QUANDO LEMBRADAS' (FOUND MEMORIES) BY JÚLIA MURAT, BRAZIL, 2011, 98 MIN., PORTUGUESE.
As she does every morning, Madalena makes bread for Antonio’s old coffee shop. And as she does every day, she crosses the railway tracks where no trains have passed for years, cleans the gate of the locked cemetery, and listens to the priest’s sermon before sharing lunch with the other old villagers. Clinging to the image of her dead husband and living in her memories, Madalena is awakened by Rita, a young photographer who arrives in Jotuomba, a ghost village where time seems to have stopped. A deep relationship is forged between the two women – a bond that has a profound effect on not only their lives but also those of the rest of the villagers. “Found Memories” won the Critics Award for Best Film at the 2012 Lima Latin American Film Festival.
'LAS ACACIAS' (ACACIA TREES) BY PABLO GIORGELLI, ARGENTINA , 201 1, 82 MIN. , SPANISH.
Rubén is a lonely truck driver who for years has been carrying wood along the route from Asunción del Paraguay to Buenos Aires. But today’s journey will be different. At a motorway stop, he agrees to take a young woman, Jacinta, to Buenos Aires, and she shows up an hour later with an 8-month-old baby. As the miles go by, the initially chilly relationship between Rubén and Jacinta slowly grows warmer. Though neither talks much about their lives or asks many questions, their rare exchanges become charged with emotional significance. “A relationship movie, a road movie, a silent movie,” says the Guardian. “Pablo Giorgelli has made a film that unfolds almost wordlessly, but very eloquently, and the unforced performances of its two leads make it absolutely beguiling.” “Las Acacias” won a trio of prizes at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival: the Golden Camera Award, the ACID Award, and the Young Critics Award for Best Feature.
'EL DEDO' (THE FINGER) BY SERGIO TEUBAL, ARGENTINA , 201 1, 93 MIN. , SPANISH.
When a remote village in Argentina formally becomes a town with the birth of its 501st inhabitant, the slick and ingratiating Hidalgo is eager for the new post of mayor. Smelling a rat, Baldomero – a beloved natural leader with a habitually tapping digit – opposes him with his own candidacy and soon turns up dead. His shopkeeper brother vows revenge, keeping Baldomero’s severed fi nger in a jar, initially as a remembrance but eventually as an inspirational icon that spurs the town to defy crooked elections, interloping powers, and Hidalgo himself. Based on real events, this charming dramatic comedy pokes fun at small-town ways while celebrating true democratic values.
'EL PREMIO' (THE PRIZE) BY PAULA MARKO VITCH, ARGENTINA , 201 1, 99 MIN. , SPANISH.
Under the cloud of a military dictatorship, a young mother and her daughter flee Buenos Aires for the seclusion of a ramshackle cottage along the windy dunes of an Argentine beach. As her mother listens for news from the radio with sad stoicism, restlessly curious 7-year-old Cecilia joins a nearby school overseen by a kindly teacher. Her childhood idyll, however, soon becomes contaminated by the general political crisis when the teacher has the class participate in a patriotic essay contest sponsored by the army – the very people who may have already disappeared Cecilia’s father. A superbly acted and engrossingly atmospheric drama about innocence in illicit times, “The Prize” won the Silver Bear for Artistic Achievement at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival.
LIFE ON THE LINE: COMING OF AGE BETWEEN NATIONS BY SALLY RUBIN & JEN GILOMEN. U.S./MEXICO, 2014, 29 MIN.
'Life on the Line: Coming of Age Between Nations' by Directors Sally Rubin & Jen Gilomen, U.S./Mexico, 2014 29 min., English & Spanish. In 'Life on the Line' tells the story of 11 year old teenager Kimberly Torrez, who must cross the U.S./Mexico border every day to go to school. In Spanish with English subtitles.
This half-hour documentary follows a year in the life of Kimberly and her family, exposing the challenges of immigration and the U.S./Mexico border through the eyes of one child. Living in Nogales, Mexico, Kimberly crosses the border each day to go to school in Nogales, Arizona. While her father finds himself unemployed, stricken with Hepatitis C, and in need of a liver transplant, her mother desperately awaits the visa that will allow the family to move back to the U.S. Meanwhile, Kimberly struggles to keep up with school attendance and grades, facing the dangers of the border each day. This touching and educational film leaves politics aside to give viewers an inside look at what life is like for millions of children “on the line” between nations and identities.
Life on the Line is relevant because of how common – and how pressing – the Torrez’s story is. Currently, there are half a million American children living in Mexico, and an estimated 16,000 people cross the border on foot each day. Several thousand of them are students, so many that there is now a name for them: “transfronterizos.” Like Kimberly, these U.S. citizens live in Mexico but commute to school in the U.S., in most cases breaking the law to obtain their education. Straddling two countries, these students symbolize the bifurcated state of our shifting immigration policies, which are contentious and have no ready solutions. As Kimberly and the Torrez family face a future divided, so do so many others.Watch the full documentary at http://www.pbs.org/program/life-on-the-line/
ITVS PRESENTS THE DOCUMENTARY 'LAS MARTHAS' ON THE ANNUAL DEBUTANTE BALL IN LAREDO, TEXAS.
The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other in the country. The festival lasts an entire month and coincides with George Washington's birthday. For more than a century the city's coming-out celebrations have involved intricate paeans to America's colonial past.
In 1939, the Society of Martha Washington was founded to usher each year's debutantes (called "Marthas") into proper society at the Colonial Pageant and Ball. The girls' attendants also dress as figures from America's colonial history and participate in traditional ceremonies.
The centerpiece of the festivities is the Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, when the girls are presented in elaborate dresses that take up to a year to create.
The festival — which dates from the aftermath of the Spanish-American War and was shaped by the North-South tensions following the Civil War, resonates anew in a time of economic uncertainty and political tension over immigration.
Still, the Washington Celebration has managed to persevere and even flourish, thanks in large part to the Mexican American girls who carry this gilded tradition on their young shoulders. For more information and a trailer, visit http://www.itvs.org/films/las-marthas
PERUVIAN HERITAGE ACTOR BENJAMIN BRATT NARRATES 'LATINO AMERICAN' A SERIES ON PBS, A LANDMARK SIX-HOUR DOCUMENTARY ON THE HISTORY OF LATINOS IN THE U.S.
The PBS 'Latino Americans', is a landmark three-part documentary series. It is the first major documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States and have become the largest minority group in the U.S.
Benjamin Bratt, the son of a Peruvian mother and a German-English father, and a multi-award winner for his work on television’s “Law & Order” and in such films as Pinero and Traffic, will narrate LATINO AMERICANS, which is led by Emmy Award-winning series producer Adriana Bosch. A team of filmmakers will document the evolution of a new “Latino American” identity from the 1500s to the present day, with interviews with close to 100 Latinos from the worlds of politics, business and pop culture, as well as deeply personal portraits of Latinos who lived through key chapters in American history. “It is time the Latino American history be told,” said Bosch, a Cuban-born filmmaker whose previous PBS projects include LATIN MUSIC U.S.A. and documentaries for the series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Cuban leader Fidel Castro. “Latinos are an integral part of the U.S., and this series shares the stories of a rich collection of people coming from so many different countries and backgrounds. It is the story of Latinos, and it is the story of America.”
Latino Americans features interviews with an array of individuals, including entertainer Rita Moreno, labor leader and 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta, who in the 1960s co-founded with César Chávez the National Farm Workers Association, Mexican-American author and commentator Linda Chávez, and Cuban singer and entrepreneur Gloria Estefan, journalist María Elena Salinas, co-anchor of “Noticiero Univision,” the nightly newscast most watched by American Latinos; columnist Juan Gonzalez, author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America and co-founder of the Young Lords Organization, a Puerto Rican nationalist movement, among others.
The diversity of the Latino American experience is reflected in both the on-camera interview subjects and the filmmaking staff. The production team includes individuals who are of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran and Dominicans heritage, among others. In addition to Benjamin Bratt as the narrator, award-winning composer Joseph Julián González composed the musical score for Latino Americans.
Latino Americans relies on historical accounts and personal experiences to vividly tell the stories of early settlement, conquest and immigration; of tradition and reinvention; of anguish and celebration; and of the creation of this new American identity with an influx of arrivals from Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and countries in Central and South America. The series is broken into the following six chronological segments that cover the 1500s to the present day:
1. “Strangers in Their Own Land” (w.t.) spans the period from 1500-1880, as the first Spanish explorers enter North America, the U.S. expands into territories in the Southwest that had been home to Native Americans and English and Spanish colonies, and as the Mexican-American War strips Mexico of half its territories by 1848.
2. “The Pull and the Push” (w.t.) documents how the American population begins to be reshaped by the influx of people that began in 1880 and continues into the 1940s, as Cubans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans begin arriving in the U.S. and start to build strong Latino-American communities in South Florida, Los Angeles and New York.
3. “War and Peace” (w.t.) moves into the World War II years and those that follow, as Latino Americans serve their new country by the hundreds of thousands — but still face discrimination and a fight for civil rights.
4. “The New Latinos” (w.t.) highlights the swelling immigration from Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic that stretches from the post-World War II years into the early 1960s as the new arrivals seek economic opportunities.
5. “Pride and Prejudice” (w.t.) details the creation of the proud “Chicano” identity, as labor leaders organize farm workers in California, and as activists push for better education opportunities for Latinos, the inclusion of Latino studies and empowerment in the political process.
6. “Peril and Promise” (w.t.) takes viewers through the past 30 years, with a second wave of Cubans arriving in Miami during the Mariel exodus and with hundreds of thousands Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Guatemalans fleeing civil wars, death squads and unrest to go north into a new land — transforming the United States along the way. The debate over undocumented immigrants flares up, with a backlash that eventually includes calls for tightened borders, English-only laws and efforts to brand undocumented immigrants as felons. Simultaneously, the Latino influence is booming in music, sports, media, politics and entertainment. The largest and youngest growing sector of the American population, Latino Americans will determine the success of the United States in the 21st century.
LATINO AMERICANS is supported by a major bilingual public education campaign, a bilingual website with user-generated digital content, social media platforms and the development of a school-based curriculum.
A companion book for Latino Americans, written by Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for PBS NewsHour, was released in conjunction with the broadcast premiere. For more information visit http://ninenet.org/ where you will find more details on the Laino Americans documentaries.
'THE GRADUATES / LOS GRADUADOS' BY BERNARDO RUIZ, EXPLORES ISSUES IN LATINO YOUTH EDUCATION AND THEIR DIFFICULT PATH TO HIGH SCHOOL & HIGHER EDUCATION.
'The Graduates/ Los Graduados', is a two-part series that explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six young Latino and Latina students from across the United States. These students offer first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing both the students and their families, as well as educators and community leaders. Watch the trailer and read more about it athttp://www.ovee.itvs.org/films/graduates.
The Graduates/Los Graduados explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the United States. More than a survey of contemporary policy debates, the bilingual, two-part film offers first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing Latino high school students and their families, educators, and community leaders. It is the story of the graduates who will make up America’s future.
The film follows six teenagers — three girls and three boys — each with their own unique obstacles to overcome. “Girls” features Stephanie, a daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, who despite attending a tough public school on the South Side of Chicago, fights through the distractions and worries about violence to become a good student, outspoken activist, and volunteer; Chastity, a Bronx teen whose family has become homeless but uses writing as a means of escape while keeping her eyes on the prize — college; and Darlene, a Tulsa student who dropped out of school after becoming pregnant and has to play catch-up when she dives back into her studies, all while trying to make a good future for her son.
“Boys” gives us three more teenagers who are just as distinct: Juan, a Dominican living in Lawrence, Massachusetts who was bullied as a gay teen until finding his own identity as a performer and writer; Eduardo from San Diego, who is steered away from the gang path when introduced to a special college prep organization that changes his outlook; and Gustavo, who came to America from Mexico to live in the very different environment of Georgia and whose dreams of college are blocked by his undocumented status.
A running theme throughout all of the stories in The Graduates/Los Graduados is the importance of civic engagement, of students becoming involved in their schools and communities, and — crucially — having a say in their own futures.
We hear from these students’ parents, many of whom have had to make great sacrifices in order to see their children graduate, and the film also interweaves engaging interviews with successful Latinos — actors like Wilmer Valderrama, activists, writers like Angie Cruz, politicians such as San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, teachers, and more — looking back on their own experiences as a student in the USA.
'THE UNDOCUMENTED' A DOCUMENTARY BY MARCO WILLIAMS PORTRAYING THE TRAGIC SIDE OF THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE.
The Undocumented is a program of Independent Lens, in PBS. Award-winning documentary and fiction film director Marco Williams weaves Marcos Hernandez's search for his father who dissappeared in the Sonora dessert and the experience of countless other migrants. This is not a passive dialogue. The characters in The Undocumented don't just talk about migrant deaths; they are immersed in it. They patrol the desert and rescue people from the brink of death. They discover piles of bones picked apart by wild animals. They wheel bodies in and out of refrigerated storage rooms and express their distress over a missing family member.
The Undocumented by Marco Williams reveals the ongoing impact of immigration laws and economic policies on the very people who continue to be affected by them. By going beyond politics, the film also tells a story that is deeply personal. You can watch a trailer and clips of the program as well as read more information by clicking here <http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/undocumented/film.html> .
'DIGNITY HARBOR' A DOCUMENTARY ON HUMAN RIGHTS FILMED IN ST. LOUIS.
Dignity Harbor (approx. 60 min.) Dignity Harbor – A documentary nominee for the 2012 Student Academy Award, the film chronicles a group of people living in a homeless encampment along the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis and their struggle to survive the winter. The film shows with Inocente, a portrait of a homeless teen, the daughter of an illegal Mexican immigrant, who uses art as an escape from her circumstances.
'PELOTERO' (Ballplayer) BY ROSS FINKEL, TREVOR MARTIN & JONATHAN PALEY, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/U .S., 2011, 77 MIN. , SPANISH & ENGLISH.
Narrated by John Leguizamo, this compelling documentary – which premiered at Tribeca – offers a gritty look inside the recruitment of top-talent baseball players from the Dominican Republic. Miguel Angel Sanó and Jean Carlos Batista are among 100,000 teenagers vying for a handful of coveted contracts with baseball teams. As they turn 16 years old and become eligible to sign, each must navigate a fiercely competitive system if they are to lift their families out of poverty and achieve their dream of playing Major League Baseball. The film – co-directed by Jonathan Paley, a Washington Univ. graduate – takes viewers inside this neverbefore-seen world for an intense look at the cost of the American dream. Kenneth Turan of the LA Times says “Ballplayer” is “an eye-opening look at a flawed, potentially exploitative system and how it is being gamed from all sides of the table.” With co-director Paley.
'WITHIN THE FLOW OF LIFE' BY MARGIT A TZLER, CHILE /ARGENTINA/AUSTRIA, 2012, 70 MIN. , SPANISH, GERMAN & ENGLISH.
As a “world wanderer,” Austrian Gregor Sieböck traveled for three years on foot across three continents to demonstrate how to live a simple life in harmony with
the planet. He now embarks on another fantastic journey, trekking through Chile and Argentina’s shared Patagonia region, which has remained one of the least despoiled places on earth – until now. Although currently flowing freely and untamed, the Baker River and the surrounding wilderness are threatened by imminent destruction. The Chilean government claims that the economic growth of the country will require more electrical energy, and it’s targeted the Baker as a power source. Through Gregor’s journey, the film introduces the viewers to an array of Patagonian residents who work to prevent the scarring of the region’s astonishing beauty. With Katherine Logan Smith, executive director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, who will lead a post-film discussion of water issues.
'INOCENTE' (INOCENT) BY SEAN FINE & ANDREA NIX , U .S., 2012, 4 2 MIN.
“Inocente” is an intensely personal coming of age feature documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past – a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse and an endless shuffle, year after year, through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation. Told entirely in her words, and incorporating animation of her own design, we come to Inocente’s story as she realizes her life is at a turning point, and for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny. Inocente is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America – children.
'TEJIENDO SABIDURIA' (We Women Warriors) BY NICOLE K ARSIN, COLOMBIA/U.S., 2012, 82 MIN. , SPANISH & ENGLISH.
“We Women Warriors” follows three native women caught in the crossfire of Colombia’s warfare who are using nonviolent resistance to defend their people’s survival. In Colombia, there are 102 aboriginal groups, one-third of which are in danger of extinction because of the ongoing conflict. Trapped in a protracted war financed by the drug trade, indigenous women are resourcefully leading and creating transformation imbued with hope. The film bears witness to rights abuses and interweaves character-driven stories about female empowerment, unshakable courage, and faith in the survival of indigenous culture. With director Karsin.
PBS PRESENTS A SERIES OF DOCUMENTARIES ENTITLED 'VOCES' THAT CELEBRATE THE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH IN 2012.
While not available online yet, you can check your local listing to watch PBS documentaries on TV. VOCES ON PBS, a showcase of outstanding documentaries that celebrate the rich diversity of Latino life, premiered in September-October 2012. VOCES kicked off with “Tales of Masked Men” ( (click HERE to watch full episode), an absorbing insider’s look at the world of Mexican “lucha libre,” famous for its masked wrestlers, followed by “Escaramuza: Riding From the Heart” (click HERE to watch full episode), about a gutsy team of women rodeo riders vying to represent the U.S. at the National Charro Championships in Mexico. “Unfinished Spaces” tells the story of the Cuban Revolution through its most significant work of architecture, Cuba’s National Schools of Art, and the three visionary men who designed it, while “Lemon” follows Puerto Rican poet/performer Lemon Andersen, a three-time felon and one-time Tony Award winner, as he struggles to take his life story to the New York stage while battling his darkest demons.
Other new programs include POV’s “El Velador (The Night Watchman),” a mesmerizing film about a security guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. Directed by Natalia Almada.
New programs are joined by a strong lineup of encore programming. PBS ARTS presents JOHN LEGUIZAMO’S TALES FROM A GHETTO KLOWN, a profile of the actor/playwright and his unorthodox rise to success, and MARIACHI HIGH, an inspiring year in the life of a group of high school students who have devoted heart and soul to their music.
PBS programs have recently been recognized with three Imagen Awards, for “honoring positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino culture in entertainment." Awards were given to FRONTLINE's "Lost In Detention" for Best National Informational Program, GREAT PERFORMANCES' "Il Postino From LA Opera" for Best Variety or Reality Show and the PBS KIDS GO! series NOAH COMPRENDE for Best Web Series: Comedy. Click here to read more about and HERE to watch preview of VOCES documentary programs for 2012.
'LEMON' A PBS DOCUMENTARY ON A NEW YORK LATINO POET & PERFORMER
Lemon is part of VOCES, a series of PBS documentaries which celebrated the Hispanic Heritage Month of 2012. When Lemon Andersen held a Tony Award in his hands for his work in Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, it was close to a miracle. This poet and performer was a three-time felon who’d achieved more than anyone could have ever imagined. But when the show closed, he lost everything and moved his wife and two small daughters back to the projects. In desperation, he turned to the only thing he had left — his pen and his past.Lemon follows his journey to take his life story to the New York stage while battling his darkest demons. Lemon was co-produced and directed by Laura Brownson and Beth Levison Click here to read more about and HERE to watch preview of VOCES documentary programs for 2012.
'UNFINISHED SPACES' A PBS DOCUMENTARY ON CUBA'S NATIONAL SCHOOL OF ARTS
“Unfinished Spaces”/ 'Espacios inacabados' tells the story of the Cuban Revolution through its most significant work of architecture, Cuba’s National Schools of Art, and the three visionary men who designed it. “Cuba will count as having the most beautiful academy of arts in the world.” — said Fidel Castro in 1961. Cuba's ambitious National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists in the wake of Castro's Revolution, is neglected, nearly forgotten, then ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece.
In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba's National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school's first classes soon followed. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country reveled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. Forty years later the schools are in use, but remain unfinished and decaying. Castro has invited the exiled architects back to finish their unrealized dream.
Unfinished Spaces features intimate footage of Fidel Castro, showing his devotion to creating a worldwide showcase for art, and it also documents the struggle and passion of three revolutionary artists. Directed by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray
2011, 86 min. Watch the official trailer clicking here!
CNN DOCUMENTARY 'LATINO IN AMERICA'
By 2050, the U.S. Latino population is expected to nearly triple. CNN's Soledad O'Brien explores how Latinos are reshaping our communities and culture and forcing a nation of immigrants to rediscover what it means to be an American. To watch the documentary and read news related to the Latinos in the U.S. click HERE!
'HOMELAND: IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA,' A PBS DOCUMENTARY
Homeland: Immigration in America presents the story of new immigrants who find themselves walking a fine line between access to and expulsion from the American dream in a three hour documentary filmed in St. Louis, MO in 2012. It’s also a story of American citizens who wonder if legal and illegal immigrants threaten their way of life. These intertwined and complex issues may have a significant effect on the choices people make when they go to the polls in November. HOMELAND revels the complex economic, political, personal & cultural dilemmas that are often portrayed as simple choices of right & wrong, legal & illegal. Immigration is not just a short-term border state issue;, it is national and local issue with long-term consequences for communities and the nation as a whole. To watch the 3 part documentary, narrated by PBS anchor Ray Suarez, click HERE!
THE LATINO LIST: AN HBO DOCUMENTARY
HBO presents a unique glimpse into the vibrant and burgeoning culture of Hispanic America through a series of highly personal video portrays of Latinos who have richly contributed to through the fabric of the American contemporary society. Funny, poignant and irreverent, THE LATINO LIST illuminates the Latino experience today at the time when the Latino population in the U.S. is booming. Listen to Eva Longoria, Gloria & Emilio Stefan, America Ferrera, Sandra Cisneros, Jose Moreno Hernandez, George Lopez, Sonia Sotomayor and John Leguisamo, among others. Click HERE to watch a trailer!
America is a country built on immigrants' dreams of a better life. Equally, the country has used successive waves of immigration to build an economic powerhouse. Critics say that powerhouse is now in decline. But there is a source of immigration that could re-energise America - if America lets it. Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic population in the country. One in four children and teenagers are Hispanic and in many states the Latino population has doubled in the last decade. This two-part series examines Latino power and how it will be harnessed to meet the challenges America faces in the 21st Century. The series, presented by Claire Bolderson, will analyse the biggest change in the make-up of the US population for a century, exploring the cultural, social, political and economic challenges and the potential of a community that has long been marginalised.
Dealing with some of the biggest Latino issues of the past decades, Bolderson charts how immigration attitudes, historical injustice and political impasse show signs of transformation in an America needing to rediscover itself. Click HERE to listen to Episode 1 and HERE to listen to Episode 2 of the program!
WELCOME TO SHELBYVILLE, A PBS DOCUMENTARY THAT ADDRESSES RACE, IMMIGRATION AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN AMERICAN.
On the eve of the 2008 election, the town of Shelbyville, Tennessee finds itself embroiled in a struggle to come to terms with a new wave of immigrants of different races & religions, from Hispanics to Muslin Somali and grappling with what it means to be American. Click HERE to watch clips of the documentary.
BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA: A PBS SERIES.
'Black in Latin America' Wonders of the African World, America Beyond the Color Line, a report on the lives of modern-day African Americans. Black In Latin America, premiered nationally in 2011 on PBS and examined how Africa and Europe came together to create the rich cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. To watch the series, click HERE!
THE BRACERO HISTORY ARCHIVE
The Bracero History Archive collects and makes available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964. Millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under the program to work in more than half of the states in America. Click HERE to read the stories of Braceros or to upload your own story. In English & Spanish.
HARVEST OF LONELINESS: THE BRACERO PROGRAM, A DOCUMENTARY BY GILBERT GONZALES Y VIVIAN PRICE.
A documentary about the Bracero labor program, which brought millions of Mexican farm workers to the United States as temporary laborers between the early 1940s and early 1960s. The winning documentary, "Harvest of Loneliness," features interviews with former Braceros and their families, chronicling the hardship and exploitation endured and examining what might be expected from a new temporary worker program, if one is implemented. The film was directed by Gilbert G. Gonzales and Vivian Price, professors at UC Irvine and CSU Dominguez Hills, respectively with collaboration of Adrian Salinas, a Mexican filmaker. Click here to see the trailer and explore the website.
BITTERSWEET HARVEST: The Bracero Program 1942-1964 /Cosecha Amarga Cosecha Dulce: El programa Bracero 1942-1964. THE SMITHSONIAN EXHIBIT.
Through photographs and audio excerpts from oral histories, this exhibition examines the experiences of bracero workers and their families while providing insight into Mexican American history and historical context to today's debates on guest worker programs. Begun in 1942 to fill labor shortages in agriculture and the railroads caused by World War II, the bracero program eventually became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history. Small farmers, large growers, and farm associations in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, and 23 other states hired Mexican braceros to provide manpower during peak harvest and cultivation times until the program ended. By the time the program was canceled in 1964, an estimated 4.6 million contracts had been awarded. Bittersweet, the bracero experience tells a story of both exploitation and opportunity to earn money. The exhibition draws extensively from the Museum's collection of photographs taken by photojournalist Leonard Nadel in 1956, as well as oral histories, documents, and objects collected by the Bracero Oral History Project. The online exhibition features bilingual labels. Click here to see the online Smithsonian exhibit.
SPREAD THE WORD: an Alternative News Website Dedicated to the Truth.
SPR offers a list of Latin American documentaries that can be viewed online. Click HERE to watch online documentaries on Latin America.
AMERICAN FAMILY: A PBS TV FICTIONAL SERIES 2002-2003
The first drama series ever that aired on broadcast television featuring a Latino cast, and the first original primetime American episodic drama on PBS in decades, premiered in January 2002. Starring Academy Award® nominee Edward James Olmos, Constance Marie, Yancey Arias, Jesse Borrego, Patricia Velasquez, Kate del Castillo and Raquel Welch, with special guest stars Esai Morales, Lynn Whitfield and Rachel Ticotin, and special appearances by Sonia Braga, takes a look at major historical events of the last century as seen through the eyes of the Gonzalez family. From their ancestors’ participation in the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900s, to son Conrado’s participation in the 2003 Iraq War, to the daily struggles of modern-day life, the Gonzalez family eagerly seeks to live the American dream. To watch the PBS series, click here!
THE CITY (LA CIUDAD) 1996 PBS DOCUMENTARY
These are the faces of Latin American immigrants in the United States. THE CITY (LA CIUDAD) tells stories of loss, love, frustration, and hope as four people arrived in a large city in1996 & struggle to build their lives, their communities and their dreams. Filmmaker David Riker's sensitive portrayals urge us to take a closer look at today's immigrants, who are not so different from many of our ancestors when they first arrived from a foreign land. IN ENGLISH & SPANISH. Click here to watch.