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. For more information please call the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at (414) 229-5986.
The series is co-sponsored by UWM Union Sociocultural Programming, the Center for International Education, the Center for Women's Studies, the Departments of Anthropology, Art History, Film, Film Studies, MALLT, Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Certificate Program. Programming by Aaron Bethke-Shoemaker and Julie Kline. In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
Birdwatchers (La Terra degli Uomini Rossi)
Brazil, Italy, 2008, 104 min
Directed by Marco Bechis
Discontent is slowly brewing among a Guarani Indian community in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Forced off of their ancestral lands by European settlers and onto reservations, the Guarani subsist as peon farm laborers. All is not well - suicide has also been a common solution to the tribe's problems. In an attempt to find a different future, a shaman tells the Guarani to return to the land that their ancestors once occupied... a land now occupied by a wealthy and hostile white family.
Uruguay, 2009, 85 min
Directed by Adrián Biniez
Jara is a shy and lonely 35-year-old security guard at a supermarket on the outskirts of Montevideo. He works the night shift, monitoring the surveillance cameras of the entire building. One night Jara discovers Julia, a 25-year-old cleaning woman, through one of the cameras and is immediately attracted to her. Night after night, he watches her on the cameras while she works. Soon he starts following her after work: to the cinema, the beach and even on a date with another man. Jara's life becomes a series of routines and rituals around Julia, but eventually he finds himself at a crossroad and must decide whether to give up his obsession or confront it.
Matar a Todos (Kill Them All)
Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, 2008, 95 min
Directed by Esteban Schroeder
Julia, a Chilean lawyer, may have found a flaw in her country's transition to democracy while investigating the mysterious disappearance of a man named Berríos in Uruguay. The man has contacted Julia claiming to possess information on the development of harmful chemical agents by the Pinochet dictatorship, but when Julia reaches Uruguay the police claim that they know nothing about Berríos. Her search is stalled further by her father and brother, both loyal military officials somehow involved in the case. Eager to uncover the government's corrupt and violent nature, Julia prods deeper into a quest for truth which could put her very life at stake.
Égalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution
USA, 2009, 60 min
Directed by Noland Walker
In the shadow of the American and French Revolutions, the Haitian Revolution challenged the traditional historical narrative. The Haitian Revolution is the only successful slave rebellion in historical record and its radical implications sent a wave of fear throughout the slaveholding Western hemisphere during the nineteenth century. At the center of the revolt is Toussaint Louverture, a former slave turned leader, considered the George Washington of Haiti. Égalité for All investigates Louverture's legacy to the Haitian experience, as well as the unfolding of the Haitian Revolution from both a religious and political stance.
Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti
Haiti, 52 min (b&w)
Directed by Maya Deren
Experimental filmmaker Maya Deren takes us on a journey into the fascinating world of the Vodou religion as practiced in Haiti. The original film footage was shot between 1947 and 1951; the documentary, never finished in her lifetime and never seen before 1978, was later culled and edited by her third husband and collaborator, who added to the footage an anthropological structure and narration.
Chac: The Rain God (newly restored print)
Mexico, USA, 1974, 95 min
Directed by Rolando Klein
A cult film from the 1970s, lost for years and now newly restored, Chac: The Rain God is based on ritual and legends from the Popul Vuh, as well as Tzeltal and Mayan stories. This gorgeous film, shot in the Chiapas region of Mexico, focuses on a small Tzeltal village during a terrible drought. Desperate for relief, thirteen men set out on a quest to save their people from starvation. They seek a solitary Diviner who lives in the mountains and knows the ways of the Ancients; they hope that he can summon Chac, the Rain God.
In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Argentina, 2009, 128 min
Directed by Teresa Constantini
Buenos Aires, 1862. Felicitas Guerrero, the eldest daughter of a larger bourgeois family, unleashes an intense passion in the romantic Enrique Ocampo, to whom she responds with equal fervor. The young couple's fate turns as the patriarchal canon of the time established that most women passed from being their father's property to their husband's; Felicitas' father gives her in marriage to the wealthiest man of Argentina, Don Martín de Alzaga. Felicitas is the tragic story of a young couple torn between love and duty, passion and guilt in times of bloody wars, yellow fever, and the uncontrolled race towards social progress.
Walt y El Grupo
USA, 2008, 106 min
Directed by Theodore Thomas
Unknown to most Walt Disney fans is the trip that Disney took to Latin America in 1941 at the request of the U.S. government. As World War II raged in Europe, Disney and a small production team traveled to Brazil, Argentina, Chile to collect ideas for an animated film designed to strengthen President Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy between Latin America and the U.S. Walt y El Grupo adds a new dimension to the Disney legacy by exploring the political and personal motivations behind his company's work during the early 1940s.
Brazil/USA, 2009, 87 min
Directed by Guto Barra and Béco Dranoff
Brazilian music has been discovered and re-discovered time and again. Through interviews with David Byrne, Devendra Banhart, M.I.A., Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso, Thievery Corporation and many others, Beyond Ipanema surveys the Brazilian music experience outside of Brazil. Artists, producers, DJs and critics analyze how the cross-pollination of music styles, as well as sampling and globalization; have helped Brazil to secure a unique position in global culture.
In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Viaje Redondo (Round Trip)
Mexico, 2009, 102 min
Directed by Gerardo Tort
Fer and Lucía are thrown together at a service station after Fer, a skinny, middle-class hippie chick from Mexico City, accuses Lucía of stealing her wallet. Lucía, a single teenage mom brought up in a working-class neighborhood of Acapulco, is not impressed by Fer's class-based assumptions, nor her yin-and-yang musings and references to "spiritual energies." But fate has plans for the two girls, who are both on their way to track down their various love interests.
The Wind Journeys (Los Viajes del Viento)
Colombia, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, 2009, 117 min
Directed by Ciro Guerra
Following the death of his wife, Ignacio wants to end his life as a musician. He will do this by returning his accordion to a mysterious man who lives in the desert of northern Colombia. There is only one problem; Ignacio is being followed by Fermín, a teenager who wants to learn to become an accordion master (juglar) in order to impress the girl he loves. However, Fermín's dreams are tested when he finds out how truly unpredictable the juglar lifestyle can be. Shot in eighty different locations, The Wind Journeys is a mischievous film that highlights the diversity of music and peoples along the Caribbean coast of Colombia.