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28th Annual Latin American Film Series, 2006

April 21 - 28, 2006
UWM Union Theatre
2200 East Kenwood Boulevard

The 28th Annual Latin American Film 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 Cultures and Communities Program, the Departments of Africology, Art History, Film Studies, Geography, Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese, the Urban Studies Program, the MAFLL Program, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Certificate Program. In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

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Co-presented by the Milwaukee International Film Festival
Friday, April 21, 2006
7pm
Voces Inocentes (Innocent Voices)
Mexico, 2004, 120 min
directed by Luis Mandoki
More than 300,000 children presently serve in armies in over forty countries. Based on the true story of screenwriter Oscar Torres's embattled childhood, Luis Mandoki's Innocent Voices is the poignant tale of Chava, an eleven-year-old boy who suddenly becomes the "man of the house" after his father abandons the family in the middle of a civil war. In El Salvador in the 1980s, the government's armed forces are already recruiting twelve-year-olds. If he is lucky, Chava has just one year of innocence left, one year before he, too, will be conscripted to fight the government's battle against the peasant rebels of the FMLN. Chava's life becomes a game of survival, not only from the bullets of the escalating war, but also from the dispiriting effects of daily violence.

Saturday, April 22, 2006
7pm
Historias Mínimas (Intimate Stories)
Argentina, 2002, 94 min
directed by Carlos Sorín
Intimate Stories, primarily cast with non-professional actors, is set in the otherworldly expanses of southern Patagonia where three travelers are making their separate ways to the provincial capital: a stubborn old man in search of a long-lost dog; a shy young mother chosen to compete on a cheesy game show; and a glib salesman eager to impress a recently widowed customer. The trio's paths crisscross in seemingly free-form patterns that avoid overstated climaxes in favor of a steady stream of ironic letdowns and small surprises. In the end, the journey brings them more or less what they set out for, though never in the ways they expected.

Sunday, April 23
7pm
El carro (The Car)
Colombia, 2003, 93 min
directed by Luis Orjuela
El Carro, one of the biggest Colombian box office hits in the country's history, follows the travails of the Velez's, a typical middle-class family from Bogotá, as they buy their first car in an attempt to move up the local social ladder. After the father accidentally gives away a winning lottery ticket for a new car to the neighbors, the family decides to save face and buy their neighbor's old car --- a 1950's cherry red Chevy convertible --- spending their entire nest egg. First-time director Luis Orjuela manages to create a hilarious social farce --- occasionally slapstick --- with a rare balance of sympathy and humor.

2005 Audience Favorite, Milwaukee Latin American Film Series
Monday, April 24, 2006
7pm
Machuca
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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
7pm
O homem que copiava (The Man Who Copied)
Brazil, 2003, 124 min
directed by Jorge Furtado
The Man Who Copied is a quirky movie -- seemingly two films in one -- that tells a story of love, art, robbery, murder and photocopying. André is a bored copy machine operator who goes home from work and draws comic book art each night. He also peeps out his bedroom window into the home of Sílvia, an 18-year-old clothing store sales girl who lives with her dad. At first André just fantasizes about Sílvia, then schemes to meet her. With the arrival of a new color copier and a borrowed fifty real note, André's life changes in a way that not even his comic book fantasies could have envisioned.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
7pm
Bombón el Perro (Bombon the Dog)
Argentina, 2004, 94 min
directed by Carlos Sorín
Director Carlos Sorín has a fondness for building his films around non-professional actors. (In Bombón el Perro, the lead is played by a man who for 15 years parked Sorín's car in a garage near his production company.) Patagonia is a rough land, and for 52-year-old Juan Villegas during Argentina's economic crisis, it's even rougher. A mechanic who's just lost his job, Juan tries to make ends meet by selling hand-made knives that nobody wants to buy. When he repairs a young woman's car one day, he is given a most unusual gift: a beautiful Dogo Argentino, a game hound of noble pedigree called Bombón. Man and dog carefully eye each other, each creature weighing the pros and cons of a possible long-term relationship.

In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Thursday, April 27, 2006
7pm
Ladrones y Mentirosos (Thieves & Liars)
Puerto Rico, 2005, 112 min
directed by Ricardo Méndez Matta
Puerto Rico, strategically located between South and North America, has become a main port of entry of illegal drugs into the United States east coast. Thieves & Liars follows the story of three different families, each affected by the wave of corruption and crime infiltrating Puerto Rican society. Wanda is a single mother who stubbornly refuses to give in to the corrupt men running the San Juan International Airport, where she operates a small hangar. Isabel balances her work as a journalist with trying to deal with her troubled teenage son. Migue is a young man who unwittingly gets involved in the drug business, despite the best efforts of his grandmother.

Friday, April 28, 2006
7pm
Deus é Brasileiro (God is Brazilian)
Brazil, 2002, 110 min
directed by Carlos Diegues
God is stressed and needs a break from the endless toil of minding the Earth and the troublesome human race. But before he can go on vacation, he must find a temporary replacement. To track down the person best suited for the job, God heads to Brazil, a country that, despite being very religious, has never had an official saint. Joined by a conniving fisherman and a soul-searching young woman, he embarks on a spirited road trip in search of his ideal stand-in. Directed by famed director Carlos Diegues (Bye Bye Brazil, Quilombo, Orfeu) and based on the short story by João Ubaldo Ribeiro, "O santo que não acreditava em Deus."