Sharing Latin American culture through film

By on April 20, 2005

Every Tuesday in April, Latin America comes closer to home as a series of modern Latin American films are screened in the Albert Schweizer Institute.

The School of Communications, the Latin American studies minor program and the Albert Schweitzer Institute (located on the corner of Mount Carmel Avenue and New Road) will sponsor the CineLatino film series.

The festival was organized by Quinnipiac journalism professor Margarita Diaz and senior Rebecca Lowenberg, a media productions major and Latin American studies minor. Part of Lowenberg’s independent study program required her to incorporate her major into her minor.

“Professor Diaz and I came together and we decided to do a film festival for my independent study project,” Lowenberg said. “One is a documentary, and the other three are feature films. We’re trying to bring more culture and diversity to the campus.”

The films include a wide array of subjects and directors. “Amores Perros,” directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, was an Academy Award-nominated film depicting the many aspects of contemporary Mexico City. “Senorita Extraviada” is an award-winning documentary narrated by Tim Robbins which provides an eye opening examination of the disappearances and murders of numerous young women in the Mexican border town of Juarez.

The third film in the series, “La Cienaga,” was shown yesterday. Directed by Lucrecia Martel, the film explores the trials and tribulations of the Argentinean middle class.

David Ives, executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute and adjunct professor of Latin American studies, philosophy and international business, donated the space for the film festival and hopes to turn the film festival into a continuous program.

“I’m in love with Latin America,” Ives said. “I think that it is an important part of the world that is often ignored and I think that should change.”

The films, which are shown with English subtitles, have been appreciated and enjoyed by their audiences. Stacey Caswell, a graduate student of journalism, felt the festival “is a nice way to reconnect to the Latino community a little bit and to be around people who are involved and interested in the culture.”

Students interested in further study of the Latin American culture can contact Professor Mario Norbis\ for more information on the minor program.

“I believe that we need to bring more of this to campus, to bring new ideas in and allow students to view Latin American cinema as a way to expose and celebrate different cultures,” Norbis said.

“I hope students will take advantage of this great opportunity to watch films that they wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to see and that they come out and support the program,” Diaz said.

The film festival will hold one more film screening with “Motorcycle Diaries” on April 26. The movie will be shown at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.


About Lisa Gomez