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Archive: Spring 2007

Latin American Film Festival

The University of California, Irvine Latin American Film Festival returns to the people of Orange County and the student community for two consecutive weeks of movie screenings.

The UCI LAFF showcases independent films that are new to U.S. audiences, as well as films that have had scarce distribution in this country. These films represent recent trends in Latin American cinematic expression and are among the very best in international cinema.This year, we have endeavored to present films that are co-productions combining the unique talents of two and three different country’s film industries. Our festival this year will explore the unique opportunities that collaboration brings to the creation of film, and how this process strives to bring films to audiences who might otherwise not have the opportunity to view them.

Our warmest gratitude to Professor Jaime E. Rodriguez, Director of Latin American Studies at UCI, for sponsoring this festival. We extend our appreciation to faculty and graduate students in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese for their support and willingness to participate in the discussions of the films.

Our acknowledgments also go the the following: Manuel H. Gomez, Vice Chancellor Student Affairsas well as The Humanities Center.

—Film Festival Committee,
Jacobo Sefamí, Michael Harrison, Nicholas Parmley, Cynthia Quintero

This series is co-sponsored by the
Latin American Studies Department
and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese

All LAFF screenings have a special admission price of $2.00



Wednesday, April 16 • 7pm
El Brindis (To Life)

El Brindis (To Life)

A young woman reluctantly journeys from her home in Mexico to visit with her estranged Chilean father who is preparing for his late Bar Mitzvah. Along the way, she meets and begins a forbidden relationship with the rabbi. It is a tale of three lives searching for meaning, love and what it means to hold on to what you have.

Directed by Shai Agosin
2007, Chile/Mexico • 60 minutes • DVD
In Spanish w/English subtitles

Thursday, April 17 • 7pm
Pura Sangre (Young Blood)

Pura Sangre (Young Blood)

After his parents die in a tragic car accident just when his estranged family is about to reunite, nine-year-old Santiago must go to the country to live with his curmudgeon of a grandfather. Santiago soon becomes Juan’s only hope to find life again after years of hardening his heart to his family and to the world.

The Director will be present to discuss the film prior to the screening. A round table discussion will be held from 5:30- 7:00 p.m. in HIB 135.

Directed by Leo Ricciardi
2006, Argentina/France/Spain • 35mm • 91 minutes
In Spanish w/English subtitles

Friday, April 18 • 7pm
Se Arrienda (For Rent)

Se Arrienda (For Rent)

A box–office hit in Chile in 2005, the comedy–drama For Rent marks a notable directing debut for the prominent new–generation Chilean writer Alberto Fuguet, once described by the New York Times as “the Chilean Eminem,”. Would–be serious composer Gastón, a one–time “most likely to succeed” at Santiago ‘s Musical Conservatory, is now 34 years of age and a failure. After waiting tables in New York, Gastón returns to Chile to find that his least-talented old friends are now the most successful. With nothing else on his plate, Gastón half–heartedly accepts a position with his father’s real estate company, in an attempt to recover a trajectory he has lost.

The Director will be present to discuss the film prior to the screening. A round table discussion will be held from 5:30- 7:00 p.m. in Humanities Hall 344.

Directed by Alberto Fuguet
2005, Chile • 109 minutes • DVD
In Spanish w/English subtitles

Saturday, April 19 • 7pm
Dos Patrias, Cuba y la Noche

The producer Christian Liffers travels with his team to Cuba to search for evidence.Inside his luggage are poems and prose texts of the Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas: texts which describe the desire for love, sexual freedom and the proud and unbending attitude in the fight against discrimination. Are these desires and attitudes still to be found in Cuba? And which desires, clichés, and projections of Cuba attract the producer and many more people? Poems and prose texts are the reference points for the protagonists and their personal stories of present-day Cuba, which are always the center of attention. Six men from different backgrounds and of different ages describe their life, afflictions, desires, longings and joys in Cuba. They have some things in common: homosexuality (with the exception of Isabel, the transsexual) and daily social exclusion on the part of the Cuban “Machismo-society” and the Cuban government. However, they differ heavily concerning their social status and their opinions of the topic.

Directed by Christian Liffers
2007, Germany/Cuba • 84 minutes • DVD
In Spanish w/English subtitles

Wednesday, April 23 • 7pm
Una Historia Adolescente en el Medio de la Nada (Glue)

Una Historia Adolescente en el Medio de la Nada (Glue)

In this comedy/drama set in a small town in the vast, empty Patagonia region, the gawky Lucas, a 15-year-old time bomb of hormones, boredom, and family alienation, hangs out with his hunky and horny best friend, Nacho, and bespectacled, mousey gal pal, Andrea. The threesome cope with the trials of burgeoning adolescence by getting high and getting off, mostly, in variations with each other.

Directed by Alexis Dos Santos
2006, Argentina/UK • 110 minutes • DVD
In Spanish w/English subtitles


Thursday, April 24 • 7pm
Como Mariposas en la Luz
(Burned as Butterflies to the Light)

Como Mariposas en la Luz (Burned as Butterflies to the Light)

Diego is convinced: there is no future in his country. He is an Argentine youth of Catalan-origin, obsessed with obtaining his grandfather’s birth certificate for his passport which will open the doors of Europe to him. Despite the economic difficulties of his family, he gets the money together and finally travels to Barcelona where he will discover love but at the same time will discover the many hardships of an immigrant’s life. Despite all of this, Diego fights to forge a new future for himself just as his grandfather had done years before.

Directed by Diego Yaker
2005, Argentina/Spain • 106 minutes • DVD
In Spanish w/English subtitles

Friday, April 25 • 6pm
Super Amigos (Super Friends)

Super Amigos (Super Friends)

In a city where slumlords and corrupt politicians reign over the poor and the weak, where corruption, homophobia, pollution, and animal abuse abound, five lucha libre wrestlers will accept the challenge, fighting injustice as superheroes. They are the Super Amigos! This documentary follows these five activists who have dedicated their lives to fighting for their causes, tracing their path to becoming superheroes and examining their motives for wanting to save their city from wrongdoers.

Directed by Arturo Pérez Torres
2007, Mexico/Canada • 82 minutes • DVD
In Spanish w/English subtitles

Saturday, April 26 • 7pm
Illuminados por el Fuego
(Blessed by Fire)

Illuminados por el Fuego (Burned by Fire)

Blessed By Fire is the story of two young men sent to fight the 1982 war in the Falkland Islands (or as they are known in Argentina, the Malvinas) who return home bearing the brutal scars of war. After learning of the attempted suicide of one of the men he served with, Alberto Vargas returns through his memories to the scene of Argentina’s “unwinnable war” in an effort to exorcise the demons of war. With its final scenes shot on location in the Malvinas, the first Argentinean film to do so, the futility of war is abundantly clear. Controversial in its homeland and politically relevant in the U.S., Blessed By Fire is a moving tribute to the veterans of all wars and the psychological burdens they bear.

Directed by Tristán Bauer
2005, Argentina/Spain • 100 minutes • DVD
In Spanish w/English subtitles



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