Join us for for five weeks of outstanding cinema! HCC's Spanish Film Festival runs Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. in the Leslie Phillips Theater.
Sept. 17: Y Tambien La Lluvia (Even the Rain)
In Even the Rain, by Icíar Bollaín, filmmaker Sebastian (Gael García Bernal) and his cynical producer Costa (Luis Tosar) arrive in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to make a film about Columbus's voyage to the New World and the subjugation of the indigenous population. Just as filming begins, the natives face a crisis when the government privatizes the water company and prices skyrocket. Daily protests erupt and a local man, cast as a rebellious sixteenth century Taino chief, also becomes a leader in the water-hike protests. Bollaín intercuts footage of Sebastian's film, with recordings of the demonstrations that occurred during the real life "Water Wars" that took place when the Bolivian government privatized the water company in 2000. The film raises questions about exploitation in South America, blurring the lines between past and present, fiction and reality.
Sept. 24: Un Cuento Chino (Chinese Take Away)
Argentina's national treasure, Ricardo Darín, is best known for his intense dramatic performances in films such as Nine Queens, The Aura, and the Oscar-winning The Secret in Their Eyes, but his brilliant comic timing in this instant classic helped make Chinese Take-Away the biggest home-grown box office success of 2011 in Argentina. Darín plays Roberto, a gruff, anti-social loner who lords over his tiny hardware shop in Buenos Aires with a meticulous sense of control and routine, barely allowing for the slightest of customer foibles. After a chance encounter with Jun, a Chinese man who has arrived in Argentina looking for his only living relative, Roberto takes him in. Their unusual cohabitation helps Roberto bring an end to his loneliness, but not without revealing to the impassive Jun that destiny's intersections are many and can even explain the film´s surreal opening sequence: a brindled cow falling from the sky.
Oct. 1: Aqui Y Alla (Here and There)
Winner of the top prize at the Critics' Week section of the Cannes Film Festival, Anto-nio Méndez Esparza's directorial debut radiantly captures the complex homecoming of a loving father. In an unexpected take on the traditional immigrant story, Pedro returns home to a small mountain village in Guerrero, Mexico, after years of working in New York. He finds his daughters older and more distant than he imagined; his wife still has the same smile. The villagers think this year's crop will be bountiful and there is work in a growing city nearby. But the locals are wise to a life of insecurity, and their thoughts are often of family members or opportunities far away, north of the border.
Oct. 8: Pelo Malo (Bad Hair)
A pre-teen boy's obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homo-phobic panic from his mother. On the other hand, Junior's grandmother encourages his behavior and his fixation with his appearance. This is a tender coming-of-age tale where people do what they think they should do, in part, out of fear but also out of love.
Oct. 15: Analfabetas (Illiterate)
Ximena is an illiterate woman in her fifties, who has learned to live on her own in or-der to keep her illiteracy as a secret. Jackelin, is a young unemployed elementary school teacher, who tries to convince Ximena to take reading classes. Persuading her proves to be an almost impossible task, until one day, Jackeline finds something Ximena has been keeping as her only treasure since she was a child: a letter Xime-na's father left when he abandoned her many years before. Thus, the two women embark on a learning journey where they discover that there are many ways of being illiterate, and that not knowing how to read is just one of them.
Sponsors: Pragda Film Club (grant), HCC LISA Club (Latino International Student Association) and the HCC Foreign Languages Department (Division of Humanities and Arts)