Latino Cinema in den USA

BALLAD OF AN UNSUNG HERO

Isaac Artenstein
USA 1984 | 27 Min. | BetaSP, OF
Pedro J. Gon­za­lez’ story, sym­bol­ic of the his­to­ry of people of Mex­i­can descent in the United States, begins in 1910 during the Mex­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion against the dic­ta­tor Por­firio Diaz. Pedro, … read more

BRINCANDO EL CHARCO - PORTRAIT OF A PUERTO RICAN

Frances Negrón Muntaner
USA 1994 | 55 Min. | 16 mm, OF
An exper­i­men­tal fea­ture film on con­tem­po­rary Puerto Rican iden­ti­ties. In a mix of fic­tion, archival footage, inter­views and soap opera drama, the film tells the story of Clau­dia Marin, a … read more

CALAVERAS

Denise Richards
USA 1996 | 30 Min. | OF, Umatic
CALAVERAS is a doc­u­men­tary on the altars that are built to remem­ber and honor the deceased on Novem­ber 1, known as ‚Dia de los Muer­tos’ (the Day of the Dead). … read more

CHULAS FRONTERAS

Les Blank
USA 1976 | 58 Min. | 16 mm, OF

The music of the Rio Grande-Valley - some call it Con­jun­to others Tex-Mex or Música Norteña – is a strong ener­getic music, based pri­mar­i­ly on the accor­dion and the dri­ving bass of the bajo sexto a huge 12-string guitar. Blank search­es for the polit­i­cal under­tones of this music in inter­views with farm­work­ers and dis­cjock­eys thus show­ing its impor­tance in the every-day life of the people. The lyrics and dia­logues togeth­er define the Texas Chi­cano in both geo­graph­ic and emo­tion­al terms: an indi­vid­ual who calls Texas home but is caught between two worlds, between old and new traditions. 

»Norteño, usu­al­ly called Con­jun­to or Tex-Mex music on the Amer­i­can side of the border, has evolved since the early 1900s into the last Mex­i­can region­al style and per­haps the most influ­en­tial and unique­ly Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can tra­di­tion. Today, as one of the main roots of Tejano Music, Norteño/Conjunto is imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­niz­able by the accor­dion as the lead instru­ment accom­pa­ny­ing tra­di­tion­al Mex­i­can duet singing. The dia­ton­ic, button accor­dion, first devel­oped and mass-pro­duced in Ger­many in the middle of the 19th cen­tu­ry, made its appear­ance in the Texas-Mex­i­can border region before the turn of the cen­tu­ry. The instru­ment was well dis­trib­uted in the north­east of Mexico and in south Texas, due to the large influx of cen­tral Euro­peans in that region. The rugged little black box quick­ly became pop­u­lar, espe­cial­ly with rural musi­cians and dancers. In addi­tion, the usual con­jun­to norteño also includes a bajo sexto (solid­ly built 12-string guitar), a contra-bajo or string bass (today usu­al­ly an elec­tric one), drums, and some­times an alto sax­o­phone. As it has been for almost a cen­tu­ry, Música Norteña is still widely pop­u­lar, espe­cial­ly among agri­cul­tur­al and blue collar work­ers. The music rep­re­sents a cul­tur­al trea­sure trove with its great vari­ety of rural dances such as the polka, waltz, redova, mazur­ka, hua­pan­go, scho­tish, cumbia, danzón etc. It also offers a huge reper­toire of songs and types, rang­ing from rancheras to boleros, to a sur­pris­ing number of often pow­er­ful protest bal­lads (story songs) known as Cor­ri­dos or Trage­dias (…) Today’s Tejano Music embraces plenty of grupos, solo singers, trios, mari­achis, bandas, string ensem­bles, as well as a great vari­ety of orches­tras, some or all of which incor­po­rate ele­ments of Norteño, the mother tra­di­tion (…).« (Chris Stra­ch­witz, 1995) 

FEAR AND LEARNING IN AMERICA

Laura Angélica Simón
USA 1997 | 53 Min. | 35 mm, OF
Bill 187 of the Amer­i­can State of Cal­i­for­nia states that chil­dren of »ille­gal aliens« have no right to edu­ca­tion and health ben­e­fits. Film­mak­er Laura Angéli­ca Simón works as an immi­grant … read more

HOLY TORTILLA

Lauren Ivy Chiong
USA 1997 | 23 Min. | 16 mm, OF
A tor­tilla sea­soned with a dash of magic real­ism, sprin­kled with hope, and baked on faith for twenty-three min­utes. The result: Lauren Ivy Chiong’s short film Holy Tor­tilla. A cel­e­bra­tion … read more

HOMELESS DIARIES

Frances Negrón Muntaner
USA 1996 | 47 Min. | OF, Video
HOMELESS DIARIES is a video jour­ney into Tent City, a camp built by home­less orga­niz­ers and home­less people from Puerto Rico on an empty Philadel­phia lot in 1995. Negrón-Muntan­er inter­weaves … read more

MUNDO MILAGROSO

Michael van Wagenen, Monica Delgad
USA 1995 | 27 Min. | 16 mm, OF
Q&A with:
Michael van Wagenen
In Texan com­mu­ni­ties along the Rio Grande River, there is a vibrant mix­ture of Span­ish Catholi­cisim and Indian mys­ti­cisim. For hun­dreds of years var­i­ous saints and reli­gious fig­ures have made … read more

POLKA

Robert Boonzajer Flaes
Netherlands 1986 | 50 Min. | OmeU, Umatic
Polkas are played in many coun­tries all over the world and the dia­ton­ic accordeon is its clas­si­cal instru­ment. Where does this music come from and how did it change during … read more

STAND AND DELIVER

Ramón Menéndez
USA 1988 | 104 Min. | 35 mm, OF
Q&A with:
Paul Espinosa
The drama­ti­za­tion of the life of an extreme­ly demand­ing maths teacher at an East LA school in a Chi­cano neigh­bour­hood: Thanks to his sever­i­ty the pupils pass the exams and … read more

THE BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ

Robert M. Young
USA 1983 | 99 Min. | 35 mm, OmU
The life of Gre­go­rio Cortez, in the first years of the 20th cen­tu­ry in Texas, which has become legend through innu­mer­ous songs and writ­ings is recount­ed in a mix­ture of … read more

US-Mexican War 1846 -1848

Part 1

Ginny Martin
USA 1998 | 60 Min. | Betacam
Q&A with:
Paul Espinosa
While most Mex­i­cans are aware of the war, most Amer­i­cans know little, if noth­ing, about it. The out­come changed the des­tiny of both coun­tries. After 16 months of fierce fight­ing, … read more