In March 2018, the Castleton International Film Festival returns with a series of contemporary films from Latin America. These screenings are made possible by a generous grant from PRAGDA, which aims to introduce students to the cultures of Ibero American countries.
The festival runs March 6 through March 20 and is free and open to the public. Screenings are held in Herrick Auditorium (unless indicated) at 6:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
CHILE’S OFFICIAL ENTRY TO THE ACADEMY AWARDS® Gael García Bernal joins award-winning Chilean director, Pablo Larraín, in this a noir-infused reimagining of the Nobel Prize-winning poet and politician’s struggle with the state.
It’s 1948 and the Cold War has reached Chile. In Congress, Senator Pablo Neruda accuses the government of betraying the Communist Party and is swiftly impeached by President Gonzalez Videla. Police Prefect Oscar Peluchonneau is assigned to arrest the poet. Neruda tries to flee the country with his wife, the painter Delia del Carril, but they are forced into hiding. Inspired by the dramatic events of his new life as a fugitive, Neruda writes his epic collection of poems, “Canto General.”
Meanwhile, in Europe, the legend of the poet hounded by the policeman grows, and artists led by Pablo Picasso clamor for Neruda’s freedom. Neruda, however, sees this struggle with his nemesis Peluchonneau as an opportunity to reinvent himself. He plays with the inspector, leaving clues designed to make their game of cat-and-mouse more dangerous, more intimate. In this story of a persecuted poet and his implacable adversary, Neruda recognizes his own heroic possibilities: a chance to become both a symbol of liberty and a literary legend.
The brilliant debut by Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante is a mesmerizing fusion of fact and fable, a dreamlike depiction of the daily lives of Kaqchikel speaking Mayans on a coffee plantation at the base of an active volcano. Immersing us in its characters’ customs and beliefs, Ixcanul chronicles with unblinking realism, a disappearing tradition and a disappearing people.
Maria, a 17-year-old Mayan girl, lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation in the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her: her parents have promised her to Ignacio, the plantation overseer. But Maria doesn’t sit back and accept her destiny. Pepe, a young coffee cutter who plans to migrate to the USA becomes her possible way out. Maria seduces Pepe in order to run away with him, but after promises and clandestine meetings, Pepe takes off, leaving her pregnant, alone and in disgrace. There’s no time to lose for Maria’s mother, who thinks abortion is the only solution. Yet despite her mother’s ancestral knowledge, the baby remains, “destined to live.” But destiny has more in store for Maria: a snakebite forces them to leave immediately in search of a hospital. The modern world Maria has so dreamt about will save her life, but at what price…
A poignant doc by celebrated filmmaker Tatiana Huezo, Tempestnarrates the parallel journey of two women. Mirror-like, it reflects the impact of the violence and impunity that afflict Mexico. Through their voices, we are drawn into the heart of their feelings, steeped in loss and pain, but also love, dignity, and resistance.
On a normal day on her way to work, Miriam is arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. While the government reports that a criminal gang has been rounded up, in reality a group of innocent Mexicans has fallen victim to the vagaries of a corrupt system. After her detention, she is handed over to a private prison controlled by the Organized Crime, where she is forced to pay a monthly fee to remain alive.
Adela works as a clown in a traveling circus. Ten years ago, her life was irreversibly transformed; every night during the show, she evokes her missing daughter, Monica. Tempest has screened at more than 60 film festivals worldwide, collecting awards in Berlin, Lima, Havana, Madrid, Cork, and many others.
Nearly half of all young people in Latin America never finish high school. To explore this dropout crisis, creative director Gael García Bernal gathered 11 award-winning filmmakers who have created a captivating anthology of short films, both narrative and documentary. There is no easy solution to this complex issue, and each short delves into the underlying reasons, from poverty to societal traditions, that students aren’t graduating.
Among many issues, the short films explore the links between the dropout crisis and violence; how to identify students at risk of dropping out of school in Latin America; the lack of interest in school that is preventing students from graduating; school exclusion in indigenous communities; the not-so-typical challenges to finishing high school faced by a deaf student; the relationship between the financial cost to staying in school and its benefits; and what happens when drop out students want to go back.
This omnibus features films by multi awarded filmmakers Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman) and Pablo Fendrik (Ardor), El Salvador’s Tatiana Huezo (The Tiniest Place), Mexico’s Mariana Chenillo (Pragda’s own PARADISE) and Nicolas Pereda (Greatest Hits), Peru’s Daniel and Diego Vega (The Mute), Uruguay’s Pablo Stoll (Whiskey), Brazil’s Eryk Rocha (Cinema Novo) and Flavia Castro (Diaries, Letters, Revolutions), Colombia’s Carlos Gaviria (Potraits in a Sea of Lies).
An excitingly fresh take on some classic themes and ideas, The Second Mother dissects with both impeccable precision and humor such matters as class differences and family. The film centers around Val, a hard- working live-in housekeeper in modern-day Sao Paulo.
Val (stunning performed by Regina Casé) is perfectly content to take care of every one of her wealthy employers’ needs, from cooking and cleaning to being a surrogate mother to their teenage son, who she has raised since he was a toddler. But when Val’s estranged daughter Jessica suddenly shows up, the unspoken but intrinsic class barriers that exist within the home are thrown into disarray. Jessica is smart, confident, and ambitious, and refuses to accept the upstairs/downstairs dynamic, testing relationships and loyalties and forcing everyone to reconsider what family really means.