BAMcinématek To Explore the Work of Chicano Filmmakers March 16 - 22
From Friday, March 16 through Thursday, March 22 BAMcinématek explores the work of Chicano and Chicana filmmakers. The Chicano Movement of the 1960s was a time of Mexican-American political activism and a cultural renaissance in which Chicano filmmakers were emboldened to tell their own stories. The filmmakers who emerged in the 1970s and 80s represented a community that had been ignored in mainstream cinema. The series begins with trailblazing writer-director Luis Valdez, who marched on the picket lines with Caesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, debut film Zoot Suit (1981-Mar 16), the film adaptation of the stage musical about the 1940s Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots, was also the first Mexican-American film to be produced by a major studio. The series also includes Valdez's musical biopic of rock 'n' roll legend Ritchie Valens La Bamba (1987-Mar 17). The series also includes three films directed by Gregory Nava: El Norte (1983-Mar 18), the first independent film to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, about a brother and sister who escape political violence in Guatemala to make a new life for themselves in America; Mi Familia (1995-Mar 22), which follows three generations of a Mexican-American family in Los Angeles and starring Jimmy Smits; and Selena (1997-Mar 17), the biopic of Selena Quintanilla that made Jennifer LOPEZ a star.
BAMcinématek programmer Jesse Trussell explains, "These were necessary films at the time, and still resonate to this day, providing a voice and a point of view that are underrepresented in film. The filmmakers in this series are an inspiring generation of artists that moved seamlessly across spaces of activism, art and entertainment. At a time where xenophobia and racism run rampant in America, we can look to the work of these artists for multifaceted, humanist views of Latinx American identity."
Series highlight includes the work of Chicana filmmakers Lourdes Portillo and Sylvia Morales. We will show Portillo's murder mystery documentary The Devil Never Sleeps (1994-Mar 20) investigating the mysterious death of her uncle Oscar. Also showing Portillo's After the Earthquake (1979) and CORPUS: A Home Movie for Selena (1999) also screening March 20. The Sylvia Morales program includes her short films Chicana (1979) and A Crushing Love (2009) both screening March 21.
The series also includes: Efraín Gutiérrez Please, Don't Bury Me Alive! (1976-May 19)
Jesús Salvador Treviño's Roots of Blood (1978-May 18), screening with Esperanza Vasquez's short film Agueda Martinez: Our People, Our Country (1977-May 18); a double feature of José Luis Ruiz's Cinco Vidas (1972-May 21) and Jesús Salvador Treviño's Yo Soy Chicano (1971-May 21); and Chicano Movement Shorts Program (May 18) with films by Valdez, Treviño, and Rick Tejada-Flores.
Photo Credit: Janus Films