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Latin American Studies

Before We Knew Nothing: With the Ashaninka of Eastern Peru

A portrait of the life and culture of the Ashaninka (also called the Campa), who inhabit the Amazon rainforest of eastern Peru, as well as a profound reflection on the experience of living and filming among people who continue to resist acculturation. Filmmaker, Diane Kitchen, spent seven months living with the Ashaninka. Her camera reveals the activities of men and women, the lush tropical environment, and the emotional climate of daily life. 1989. 62 min.

Benedita da Silva

Documentary on Benedita da Silva, the first Black woman Senator in Brazil. As a resident of the Chapeu Mangueira slum in Rio de Janeiro, she ran for office and was elected federal representative in 1986 and ran again for re-election in 1990. This is her story along with her views on social conditions in Brazilian and on the Brazilian political process today. Directed by Eunice Gutman. Dist. Cinema Guild. 1990. 30 min.

Betraying Amnesia, Portraying Ourselves: Video Portraits by Latin American and Latino Artists

The diversity of films in this program present representations as broad as the cultural and historical circumstances that have shaped the many cultures within Latin American and US Latino/a communities. This particular group of video makers have politicized their work by visualizing these unique geographical characteristics and by forging links between self, history, and memory. The exploration and experimentations represent here constitute a politically charged and significant contribution to what we know as video portraiture.

Between Light and Shadow: Maya Women in Transition.

Interviews with Mayan women artists who work to preserve Mayan culture, improve the lives of the Mayan people and promote a Maya presence in their community. Includes Mayan folk art in the form of woven textiles and embroidery and contemporary paintings. 1997. 26 min.

Between Midnight and the Rooster's Crow

Multinationals are working to extract billions of dollars of oil reserves from beneath Ecuador's rainforest. This film documents the environmental and social impact the EnCana Corporation is having on Ecuador as they build a heavy crude pipeline from the Amazon, across the Andes, to the Pacific coast. Also looks at the relationship between EnCana and the government of Eduador. Directed, produced and written by Nadja Drost. 2005. 66 min.

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Description from Icarus Films catalog

Birdsong and Coffee: A Wake Up Call

Explores the inextricable economic and environmental connections between farmers in Latin America, coffee drinkers in the U.S., and the fate of migratory songbirds throughout the Americas.

Bitter Cane.

This expose takes an in-depth look at the history and modern day realities of Haiti. Shows how the traditional system of semi-feudal agriculture is being replaced by foreign-owned modern plantations and an industrial sector where hundreds of factories are mushrooming around the capital, enticed by tax incentives and cheap labor. The exploitation of labor reinforces the class system and economic underdevelopment of the country. Includes interviews with peasants, landowners, merchants, and U.S. businessmen and touches on the consequences for U.S. workers and Haitian refugees.

Bitter Memories (Amargos Recuerdos)

Filmed during the exhumation, in northern Huehuetenango, of Guatemalans massacred by the military in 1982, this videotape features interviews with survivors and family members of those killed, as well as Mayan ceremonies in honor of the dead. The exhumations were carried out in order to obtain information about the massacres and help in determining compensation for their victims. Dirigido y producido por Nefertiti Kelley Farias, Carlos Miguel Bazua Morales. (SF International Latino Film Festival Collection). 2000. 30 min.

Black & White in Exile

An in-depth documentary chronicling 30 years of Caribbean exile in the United States, focusing on Cuban and Haitian immigration and its impact on the host communities. The four main groups probed are Cuban exiles, Haitian exiles, resident whites and African Americans. Issues of equity are explored in terms of the government treatment of each group, the economic opportunities available, the political empowerment achieved and the inter-racial/cross-cultural hostilities, cooperation and ultimately, coalitions that developed.

Black Bull (Toro negro)

Documentary on Fernando Pacheco Colli, "El Suicida", a young bullfighter who performs in the popular festivals of the small Mayan communities of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Follows Pacheco Colli's life in and out of the bullring, exploring his human passions and conflicts as well as his heavy alcohol and drug use. A film by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio, Carlos Armella. Presented at the International Latino Film Festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area. 2005? 89 min.

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