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Latin American and Caribbean Videos, Summer 2000

The Audiovisual Department of the library contains some 450 films on Latin America and the Caribbean, with a concentration in Cuba and Mexico. The majority of these materials focus on contemporary political affairs and include many feature productions.

FIU Libraries shall soon be receiving several noteworthy new videos, both documentaries and feature films, with a Latin American and/or Caribbean emphasis.

Among the new titles ordered are:

  • Behind the Cocaine Wars. Documentary. Analyzes the complex sociopolitical issues confronting Colombia since the 1960s. The filmmakers assert that the government's anti-drug campaign or "Cocaine Wars," beginning in 1989, has in fact increased domestic violence and distracted national leaders from instituting desperately needed social reforms. (52 minutes.)
  • Confessing to Laura. Docudrama. Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, liberal leader and candidate to the Colombian presidency, was killed in Bogotá on April 9, 1948. Gaitan's supporters took to the streets of the capital, demanding punishment for those responsible. In the film, while the country experiences troubled times, Josefina is busy preparing a birthday cake for her friend Laura. The film uses a subtle form of humor to portray these characters, who seem completely indifferent to the tumultuous events in the country. (90 minutes.)
  • El Espectador: The Press and the Drug Lords. Documentary. The extraordinary story of the Bogotá newspaper whose offices were bombed and staff members killes in the pursuit of their work. Demonstrates how the politics of cocaine can dominate an entire country. (58 minutes.)
  • Haiti: Coup de Grace. Documentary. This documentary follows President Jean-Bertrand Aristide through exile and his eventual return to Haiti, tracing the relationship between Clinton and Aristide. (94 minutes.)
  • The Lion's Den. Feature. Based on actual events from 1980-1983, the story revolves around a Peruvian military unit that is sent to garrison the small Amerindian community of Chuspi, near Ayacucho, after a raid by Shining Path guerrillas. (100 minutes.)
  • Mama Coca: Cocaine at its Source. Documentary. Interviews with Bolivian farmers who grow the coca and who believe that their tired land will grow nothing else. Discusses the project launched by the U.S. government to replace coca crops with coffee - and the reasons these farmers don't want to participate. (26 minutes.)
  • The Masked. Documentary. This documentary concerns the extreme violence in Medellín, Colombia. Residents of the local neighborhoods form a social cleansing organization called militias populares. Today they have thousands of armed members that have filled the state's vacuum, and with great popular support they execute thieves, rapists, prostitutes, homosexuals and local drug sellers. (58 minutes.)
  • Peru: Between the Hammer and the Anvil. Documentary. From 1979 to the early 1990s, the guerrilla war in Peru took a huge toll on the country's economy, and an even greater one on its poorest people. This documentary probes the economic and political roots of the conflict and examines the post-war struggles of Peruvians as they struggle to reconstruct their lives. (52 minutes.)
  • Portrait of Teresa. Feature. A Cuban classic that portrays the difficulties of Cuban women under the revolution. Teresa, a factory worker, incurs the displeasure of her husband because of her job and her involvement in political and cultural groups. One of the most controversial Cuban films to be released in the U.S. (115 minutes.)
  • Rodrigo D. (No Futuro). Feature. Using real street kids as actors and set in Medellín, Colombia, in the late 1980s, this film is a portrayal of the chaotic and rootless gangs of teenagers that roam the city's working class barrios. The film shows the constraints of these youth's lives: the use of drugs, lack of meaningful employment, and their vision of crime as their only means of survival. Four of the boys who acted in this film were killed in the streets of Medellín by the time the film was released. (92 minutes.)
  • Roses in December. Documentary. On Dec. 2, 1980, lay missioner Jean Donovan and three American nuns were brutally murdered by members of El Salvador's security forces. This film chronicles Jean's life - from her affluent childhood in Conneticut, to her decision to volunteer with the Maryknolls in El Salvador, to her tragic death. (56 minutes.)
  • Strawberry and Chocolate. Feature. A sensation from Cuba in which a chance encounter over ice cream between a gay man and a young, fervent believer in contemporary Cuban Marxism sets the stage for a funny but serious film about differences and acceptance. This film broke box office attendence in Cuba and achieved world-wide acclaim. (104 minutes.)
  • Threads of Hope. Documentary. A powerful story about a group of women who banded together and dared to defy the dictatorship of Chile's Gen. Augusto Pinochet. The women set to tell their stories by creating arpilleras, colorful handmade tapestries. The tapestries were ultimately smuggled out of the country and sold, with the proceeds returned to Chile to support the victim's families. (51 minutes.)

    These videos can be found on the 5th floor of the Green Library in the Audiovisual Department. Please consult the FIU catalog for availability and call number.

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Last updated:
January 7, 2003