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New Latin American and Caribbean Videos, Summer 2002

The FIU Libraries have recently ordered new films, both documentaries and feature films, with a Latin American and/or Caribbean emphasis. Of particular note are several films on the African Diaspora as well as documentaries dealing with the Zapatistas in Chiapas. The films will soon be available in the Audiovisual Department of the Green Library on the UP Campus. Check the FIU Library Catalog for holding information.

Feature Films:

  • Courage (Coraje) / Peru. This film, based on the true case of activist María Elena Moyano, features the character Olenka Cepeda, founder and leader of the Woman's Federation of Villa El Salvador, as she battles bureaucracy as well as the Sendero Luminoso revolutionaries who have decided she's not radical enough. (110 minutes, 1998).

  • The Night of the Pencils (La noche de los lápices) / Argentina. A true story based on the testimony of Pablo Díaz, the only survivor of the tragic episode known as "the night of the pencils," which took place during the military dictatorship in Argentina. In 1976, security forces in the city of La Plata kidnapped seven high school students who were protesting for cheaper bus fare. (101 minutes, 1986).

  • The Sentimental Teaser (El chacotero sentimental) / Chile. This Chilean box-office hit has been the most widely seen domestic film in Chile to date. The film tells of three engaging tales of love, longing, and family. Anonymous callers ring in to tell all to a young, eccentric radio talk show host, recounting their most intimate stories to an eager listening public. (90 minutes, 1999).

  • Soccer Stories (Historias de fútbol) / Chile. Latin America's passion for soccer is the central theme that ties together three very different lives in this film. A third-division soccer player in Santiago is offered a bribe and the possibility of playing professional soccer; a group of young boys have a contest in which the last goal wins; a young man on his way to visit relatives finds himself stranded in a small village on the day of an important national soccer match. (87 minutes, 1997).


  • Ache Moyuba Orisha / Cuba. This film explores the Santería religion, through interviews with two santeros and a Catholic priest, explaining key concepts, its pantheon of orishas (saints), and its general reception in Cuba. (42 minutes, 1990).

  • Butterflies on the Scaffold (Mariposas en el andamio) / Cuba. This award-winning documentary looks at the daily life of gays and transvestites in Cuba. It follows a group of working class drag queens who gain their neighbors' respect and become an integral part of the community by forging a coalition with the female leaders of the local construction brigade and performing in the workers' dining room. (74 minutes, 1996).

  • Chiapas: Unfinished Story (Chiapas: historia inclusa) / Mexico. A visual itinerary of the beginnings of the armed upheaval of the Zapatista army in Chiapas through developments during 1995, showing the impact the uprising had in Mexico City and the rest of the country. (90 minutes, 1995).

  • Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories / Documentary, U.S. An intimate portrayal of a black Cuban immigrant family living in the Bronx. Three siblings recount their family's reasons for leaving Cuba, yet grow to appreciate some aspects of the revolution as they explore radical black and Latino movements of the 1960s and 70s in the U.S. (56 minutes, 2000).

  • The Forgotten Roots (La raiz olvidada) / Mexico. Detailing the history of Mexico's often overlooked African population, this film draws on archival imagery from the days of slavery to the colonial era, arguing that the mestizaje includes important contributions of Africans as well as Spaniards and Indians. (50 minutes, 2001).

  • Gandhi's Sons / Brazil. This video narrates the story of Bahia's carnival history as seen through the eyes of "Gandhi's Sons," the biggest carnival group in Salvador, founded in 1949. (55 minutes, 1999).

  • Marcos: Word and History (Marcos: historia y palabra) / Mexico. Subcomandante Marcos puts the Zapatista movement in historical perspective, describing his own arrival to the Lacandona forest in Chiapas, his contact with the indigenous communities, and the eventual formation of the EZLN. Marcos analyzes the different stages of the movement during the year following its initial uprising. (90 minutes, 1995).

  • Ngansa Kiyangala, Congo Religion in Cuba / Cuba. This film describes the history, rites and practices of Nganga, the Bantu-based belief system of the slaves brought to Cuba from the Congo region of Africa. (33 minutes, 1991).

  • Pierre Verger: Messenger Between Two Worlds (Pierre Verger: mensageiro entre dois mundos) / Brazil. Narrated by renowned musician Gilberto Gil, this beautiful film retraces the adventurous life of photographer Pierre Verger, a French ethnographer who devoted his life to the study of the reciprocal cultural influences between Bahia, Brazil and the Benin regions of Africa. (90 minutes, 1998).

  • Port-au-Prince is Mine (Potoprens se pam) / Haiti. This documentary paints a vivid portrait of Port-au-Prince, the capital of the Republic of Haiti, which is a victim of overpopulation, lack of urban infrastructure, and environmental degradation. (57 minutes, 2000).

  • Prohibido / Argentina. Based on interviews with actors, theater directors, journalists, academics, and visual artists, this documentary tells the story of Argentina's dirty war from the perspective of the art community, whose members were often targeted by the military dictatorship. (105 minutes, 1997).

  • The Promised Ship / Costa Rica. This film documents the story of Marcus Garvey, the leader of the black power movement of the early 20th century, who founded a steamship line intended to transport black people back across the Atlantic to their ancestral homelands. Focusing on the townspeople of Limón, Costa Rica, the film recalls the emotional impact this attempted venture had on them and their parents. The film also documents how the United Fruit Company tried to stop Garvey's organizing activities in the region's banana plantations. (51 minutes, 2000).

  • Quest of the Carib Canoe / Dominica. A group of contemporary Carib Indians undertake a sea voyage in a hand-built canoe, leaving their Caribbean island home to return to their ancestral homeland in South America. (50 minutes, 2000)

  • Vieques: A Documentary Film (Vieques: un largometraje) / Puerto Rico. Depicting the impact of the US naval testing on Vieques, this film shows how residents of the island have banded together to protest the naval bombings. (92 minutes, 2000)

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January 7, 2003