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Latin film series starts on Tuesday, focuses on culture

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Latin American Film Series

Students, teachers and community members can look forward to a weekly latin film to be shown on campus for the next few weeks.

Students, teachers and community members can look forward to a weekly latin film to be shown on campus for the next few weeks.

SUU’s department of Foreign Languages and Philosophy is putting on a Latin American Film Series starting Tuesday, to stimulate interest among students and the community about Latin American culture.

The department will be putting on documentaries every Tuesday until April 17.

A total of five movies will be shown. Chevolution will by shown on March 20, Which Way Home will be shown on March 27, Cocalero will be shown on April 3, The Take will be shown on April 10 and Balseros will be shown on April 17.

James Gustafson, assistant professor of Spanish, said it was hard to narrow it down to five films because there were many others they could have included.

Gustafson said the films represent different areas of Latin America including Bolivia, Mexico, Cuba and Argentina.

Gustafson said he and Iliana Portaro, Spanish lecturer, chose the films because they touch on relevant political, social and economic issues of interest.

Gustafson said Balseros and Which Way Home deal with immigration and the reasons some people chose to leave their homes and the challenges they face because of it.

He said Cocalero follows the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, who is a controversial figure, in part because of his alliance with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.

Gustafson said The Take tackles tough economic issues in Argentina that many argue are a result of globalization.

Gustafson said Chevolution is a film about Che Guevara. He said it analyzes the enduring appeal of the Argentine revolutionary.

“All films have received favorable reviews and have won many awards,” he said.

Elise Leahy, Foreign Languages and Philosophy department chair, said the department thought it would be an enriching experience to put on the Latin American Film Series.

“Exposure to our vast world and to the political and social realities of many different countries will provide an artistic, cultural experience,” she said. “Sharing aspects of the diverse cultures is very important. The films are an education of themselves.”

Leahy said the documentaries provide an experience and an education from a different angle that can be very interesting.

Rachel Kirk, an assistant professor of Spanish, said it will be a great opportunity for students and the community to learn about Latin America and to broaden their understanding of the region and its history through the documentaries themselves and in the short lectures given by faculty members before each film.

Gustafson said he hopes the students and others who attend the films will gain an appreciation of the many different cultures of Latin America and some important issues affecting the countries portrayed in the films and Latin America in general.

“We hope students, faculty and staff and the community in general will find the films stimulating and relevant to contemporary social issues,” he said. “We also hope that interest in the film series gets more students interested in majoring or minoring in Spanish.”

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