Presented by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, UWM Union Programming, Union Theatre and The Department of Film.
UWM Union Theatre
2200 East Kenwood Boulevard
All films will be shown in their original language with English subtitles
Films are not rated; many include adult content.
The series is co-sponsored by UWM Union Sociocultural Programming, the Center for International Education, the Center for Women's Studies, the Cultures and Communities Program, the Departments of Africology, Art History, English as a Second Language, Film Studies, Honors College, Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese, the Urban Studies Program, the Multicultural Student Center, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Certificate Program. In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
El Aura (The Aura)
Argentina, 2005, 138 min
Directed by Fabián Bielinsky
A taxidermist, seemingly disengaged from life, regularly daydreams about committing the perfect crime. He is also an epileptic. Before each seizure he is visited by an "aura," a paradoxical moment of confusion and enlightenment where the past and future seem to blend. These attacks appear without notice when he least expects them, and just when he needs all his wits. While on a hunting trip with an acquaintance in the Patagonian forest, he accidentally shoots a stranger -- a stranger, it turns out, who was planning a high stakes robbery. What now? From the director of the 2003 Audience Favorite, Nine Queens.
Documentary screening: Dulce Convivencia/Sweet Gathering (Mexico, 2004, 18 min)
With guest indigenous media maker Filoteo Gómez Martínez
Indigenous filmmaking in Latin America has received increasing attention in recent years, as it allows communities to present themselves through their own lens, from their own perspective. Dulce Convivencia portrays the production of panela, a raw brown sugar made from cane with which people sweeten their food and drink in San Miguel Quetzaltepec, a Mixe community in Oaxaca, Mexico. The video illustrates life in the community and how work, happiness and pain are collectively shared. It also highlights the struggle to remain self-sufficient in food production. Entirely spoken in Mixe, the film recently screened at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Secuestro Express (Express Kidnapping)
Venezuela, 2005, 87 min
Directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz
After a night of dancing and partying in Caracas, an upper class couple is taken hostage by three men who make their living extorting fast money via "express" kidnapping. Carla and her fiancé live terrifying hours uncertain of their fate, while the kidnappers await a ransom from her father. Despite being the highest grossing Venezuelan film of all time, the Chávez administration denounced Secuestro Express for its depiction of the rifts between social classes in Venezuelan society.
2006 Audience Favorite, Milwaukee Latin American Film Series
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."
Co-presented with the Milwaukee International Film Festival
Argentina, 2004, 95 min
Familia Rodante (Rolling Family)
Directed by Pablo Trapero
From the director of El Bonaerense and Crane World, Rolling Family is a warm, vivacious comedy about love, life, laughter, and the compromises we make for family. When Emilia, an Argentine grandmother, is invited to be the matron of honor at the wedding of a distant niece, she invites her whole family to accompany her. They set off in a 1956 Chevy Viking camper on a cross-country journey to the border of Argentina and Brazil. Between the starting point of Buenos Aires and the destination of Misiones, all the anger, sorrow, and warmth between four cramped generations comes to the surface.
Brazil, 2005, 99 min
Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus (Cinema, Aspirin and Vultures)
Directed by Marcelo Gomes
Two young men travel the Northeastern Brazil backlands in the early 1940s, stopping in dusty towns to sell the new miracle drug, aspirin. Johann is a German who fled his country to avoid World War II; Ranulpho is a sharp-tongued Brazilian who hitched a ride one day, hoping to leave drought and suffering for a better life. Under Johann's guidance, Ranulpho learns to operate the cinema that they set up in the village streets, so they can show their filmed demonstration to people who've never heard of aspirin -- or seen a film. At first, Johann and Ranulpho seem worlds apart, but they become friends during long days riding in the truck, with only the scratchy radio voice to remind them of the distant war.
In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Puerto Rico, 2005, 105 min
El Clown (The Clown)
Directed by Pedro Adorno and Emilio Rodríguez
Xavier del Monte is a small-town circus clown whose ambition takes him to the big city. There, an ad agency selects him as the Hot Dog Clown, the media character of a fast-food campaign that appeals to children and mothers. Success changes his life. He moves into an uptown apartment, buys a new car, enjoys shopping and falls in love. But the ad agency forbids him from exposing his true self to the public. At the top of his success, Xavier feels empty inside and does not know why. Now he will have to choose between affluence and happiness. With Guest Director Pedro Adorno!
Cuba, 2005, 106 min
Barrio Cuba (Neighborhood Cuba)
Directed by Humberto Solás
In this second feature of a planned trilogy (following Miel para Oshún, 2001), Magalis, Ignacio, Vivian, Miguelito and Santo are all striving for a little happiness in Havana. They live life to its fullest, propelling themselves over and over against an uncertain fate. The harsh reality of the barrio challenges them, but they never lose the hope of a better future, of regaining a lost love, or finding a new one, of improving themselves. Barrio Cuba is the story of fighters whose lives are woven by a mosaic of emotions, at times bitterly confused, but always honest. The film also portrays a country and a moment where preserving dignity becomes a daily task. From the director of Lucía (1968), a classic of Cuban cinema.
Mexico, 2004, 91 min
Temporada de Patos (Duck Season)
Directed by Fernando Eimbcke
Two fourteen-year old boys, Flama and Moko, have the apartment to themselves, looking forward to a day of video games, delivered pizza and coca-cola. Then their neighbor Rita comes over to borrow their oven, the power goes out, and the pizza delivery guy (who arrives 11 seconds late because he had to climb the stairs) refuses to leave until he gets paid. The day suddenly becomes far different than expected. Duck Season, winner of an unprecedented 11 Ariel Awards in Mexico, explores the loneliness of childhood, the effects of divorce, and the curious power of love and friendship.
For more information, please call the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at (414) 229-5986.