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27th Annual Latin American Film Series, 2005

en español (pdf-14k)

April 8 - 15, 2005
UWM Union Theatre
2200 East Kenwood Boulevard

The series is presented by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, UWM Union Programming, Union Theatre and The Department of Film. The series is co-sponsored by UWM Union Sociocultural Programming, the Center for International Education, the Center for 21st Century Studies, the Center for Women's Studies, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Departments of Africology, Art History, English, Geography, Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese, the MAFLL Program, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Certificate Program. In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

Friday, April 8
Chile/Spain, 2004, 115 min
directed by Andrés Wood

Pedro Machuca is a poor boy of indigenous descent, brought into an upper class private school during Chile's brief socialist era. Gonzalo, the well-to-do boy seated a row ahead, befriends Pedro against the bullying of his classmates. In so doing, he discovers a raw, thrilling, but wildly complicated world outside his own previously sheltered home life. The already enormous rift between Gonzalo's comfortable household and Pedro's hardscrabble life a few miles away in an illegal shanty town ultimately becomes impossible to bridge, once the bloody military coup of September 11, 1973 erupts and capsizes the nation. From the director of Historias de Fútbol.

Co-presenter: The Milwaukee International Film Festival
Saturday, April 9
Suite Habana (Havana Suite)
Cuba/Spain, 2003, 80 min
directed by Fernando Pérez

Dawn in Havana: the city awakes, and the film begins. Why a day in Havana? Because Havana is a point of reference to many, a mystery to others, and a dream full of contradictions and contrasts to those who love or criticize it. But Havana is not only a space, a sonority, a light. Havana is its people. Suite Habana is simply a day in the life of ten ordinary people of Havana. There are neither interviews, nor dialogues, nor narration: only images, sounds and music to express on film the everyday events of a unique reality. From the director of Hello Hemingway and La vida es silbar.

2004 Audience Favorite, Milwaukee Latin American Film Series
Sunday, April 10
Sin Dejar Huella (Without a Trace)
Mexico, 2000, 125 min
directed by María Novaro

From the director of Danzón, Without a Trace is a smartly written and visually sumptuous road movie about two women on the run. Aurelia is a single mother who's fled her factory job and drug-dealing boyfriend; Ana is a smooth talking smuggler of fake Mayan artifacts fleeing a corrupt cop. When they cross paths at a truck stop on Mexico's dusty northern border, they decide to travel together to the Yucatán, knowing that their budding friendship is built on secrets and deceptions.

Monday, April 11
Amarelo Manga (Mango Yellow)
Brazil, 2002, 100 min
directed by Cláudio Assis

There's an abundance of life but precious little joy among this group of working-class people living in the favelas of Recife. But the lives seen here are not only on the economic edge; they are freighted with loneliness, and existential angst. Wellington works in a slaughterhouse; his wife, Kika, is a devout evangelical. Wellington delivers meat to the seedy Texas Hotel, whose flamboyantly gay cook, Dunga, lusts after the butcher to no avail. At a nearby café, Lígia, the barkeep, flaunts her sexuality even as she fights off the constant advances of the scruffy customers. These are people of great energy, but it seems to lead them only in circles of marginal poverty.

In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Tuesday, April 12
Un Amor Silencioso (A Silent Love)
Mexico/Canada, 2004, 100 min
directed by Federico Hidalgo

Norman, a quiet, middle-aged college teacher from Montreal embarks on the adventure of his life when he goes to Mexico to propose to Gladys, a young woman he met through an Internet agency. Gladys accepts Norman, but impulsively requires him to bring her widowed mother, Fernanda, with them to Canada. But love eludes the newlyweds and gradually, Norman falls in love with Fernanda. She senses his attraction and fears the worst--that it might be mutual. In the emotional showdowns that follow, Norman, Gladys and Fernanda must find the courage to overcome great distance, foolish desire, and fear of solitude.

Wednesday, April 13
El Viaje hacia el Mar (The Trip to the Sea)
Uruguay/Argentina, 2003, 78 min
directed by Guillermo Casanova

On a Sunday morning in 1963, in a bar in the town of Minas, Rataplín, the garbage collector, Quintana, the gravedigger, Siete y Tres Diez, the lottery seller and his dog Aquino, wait for Rodríguez who is going to take them to see the ocean for the first time. Vasco, the foreman, accompanies them reluctantly. Recently arrived from the capital, an elegant stranger joins the outing at the last moment. Throughout the journey, in Rodríguez's broken down truck, the six characters reveal their particular ways of living and feeling, surrounded by the green landscape of the sierra, as they travel toward the coast and the unknown sea.

Thursday, April 14
El Fotógrafo (The Photographer)
Chile, 2002, 96 min
directed by Sebastián Alarcón

In this romantic comedy set in the stunningly beautiful Chilean port of Valparaíso in 1962, a few days before the World Cup, Simón, an ambitious photojournalist, is obsessed with creating a seminal fotonovela. Despite many obstacles, Simón and his friends-a colorful group of characters including a Francophile boarding house owner, a Don Juan, and an Audrey Hepburn look-alike-embark on a search for artistic identity and love. In his desperate urge to complete his project, Simón falls prey to his producers who force him to betray his ideas, his friends, his love, and himself. Director Alarcón masterfully mixes bright colors and shimmering black-and-white images, brilliantly recreating a radiant, bygone era.

In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Friday, April 15
Punto y Raya (Dot & Line)
Venezuela, 2004, 104 min
directed by Elia K. Schneider

Cheito and Pedro, a Venezuelan and a Colombian, meet at the border between their two countries at a time of heightened nationalism. They are recruits into the army doing their obligatory time. Cheito is an unwilling participant and is only interested in defection, while Pedro has actually volunteered for duty to defend the honor of his country. The human geography of the border is rough and adverse and their only possibility for survival is to work together.

Announcing the
2005 Latin American Film Series Audience Favorite Film
        Machuca (Chile, 2004)
        Look for Machuca at the spring 2006 film series (dates TBA)...