37th Annual Latin American Film Series, 2015

This film series is presented by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, UWM Union Theatre and Student Involvement.

April 10-16, 2015

UWM Union Theatre
2200 East Kenwood Boulevard
Free Admission
All films will be shown in their original language with English subtitles.
Films are not rated; many include adult content.
For more information please call the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
at (414) 229-5986.

The series is financially co-sponsored by UWM Union Sociocultural Programming, the Center for International Education, the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for 21st Century Studies; the Office of Global Inclusion and Engagement; the Jewish Latin America Collection Associates and Special Collections, UWM Libraries, the Departments of Africology, Anthropology, Art History, Film, English (Film Studies), History, Political Science, Spanish & Portuguese, the Master of Arts in Language, Literature and Translation (MALLT), and Women’s Studies, the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Certificate Program, and the major in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies (LACUSL). In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

LAFS Opening Night

Friday, April 10

Bad Hair (Pelo Malo)
Venezuela/Peru/Germany, 2013, 93 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Mariana Rondón
Co-presented with UWM Film Studies

Junior is nine-years-old, living in a Caracas housing development with his mother and baby brother. Junior has what he considers to be “bad hair” and wants to have it straightened for his yearbook picture, like a fashionable pop singer. His mother, struggling to support her family, is impatient and fearful of Junior’s fixation on his looks, leading to family conflict as Junior tries to stay true to his identity.

Sand Dollars (Dólares de Arena)
Dominican Republic/Mexico/Argentina, 2014, 85 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas
Co-presented with the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival

Every afternoon Noelí, a young Dominicana, goes to the beaches at Las Terrenas. Along with her boyfriend, they look for ways to make a living at the expense of one of the tourists. Noelí has a steady client, a mature French woman (played by Geraldine Chaplin). Noelí’s boyfriend feigns to be her brother and outlines a plan in which Noelí travels to Paris with the woman and sends him money. For Noelí, the relationship is one of convenience, but the feelings become more intense as the departure date approaches.

Saturday, April 11

Haitian Perspectives in Film

Haiti, 2015, 10 short films, each about 10 min
DVD – Directed by Haitian community members
Co-presented with the UWM Department of Africology
In January of 2010, an earthquake killed upwards of 300,000 Haitians, disrupted the already fragile infrastructure, and left hundreds of thousands without families, friends and homes. During an intensive training provided by Community Supported Film, Haitian community members used their local knowledge to produce ten short films that provide a unique opportunity to experience Haiti as it is lived since the earthquake by street vendors, business women, artists, farmers, and others.


Cows Wearing Glasses (Las Vacas con Gafas)

Puerto Rico, 2014, 93 min
DVD – Directed by Alex Santiago Pérez
Movie Trailer
Marso, a lonely, eccentric painter and art professor, is losing his sight. As his world changes, he is forced to re-examine an existence filled with professional successes but unsatisfying personal relationships. He tries to reestablish a relationship with his only daughter while his thoughts are filled with longing for simpler times. The fear and uncertainty of what lies ahead have left an imprint on his psyche, and maybe even on his morals.


Crossing Over: Stories of Immigration and Identity

USA, 2014, 46 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Isabel Castro
Movie Trailer
Co-presented with the UWM LGBT Resource Center, Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival, Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!) and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, Marquette University
Each year, thousands of Mexican nationals immigrate to Los Angeles in search of better opportunities and a safe, sustainable way of living. Faced with discrimination and the challenges of being undocumented, many transgender immigrants turn to the sex industry, often falling prey to its many dangers, simply to survive. Crossing Over interweaves the stories of three such transgender Latina immigrants who came to the U.S. from Mexico in search of a better life.

Sunday, April 12

Illiterate (Las Analfabetas)

Chile, 2013, 73 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Moisés Sepúlveda
Co-presented with the UWM Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Ximena is an illiterate woman in her fifties, who has learned to live on her own to keep her illiteracy a secret. Jackeline, a young unemployed elementary school teacher, tries to convince Ximena to take reading classes. Persuading her proves to be an almost impossible task, until one day, Jackeline finds something Ximena has been keeping as her only treasure since she was a child: a letter Ximena’s father left when he abandoned her many years before. Thanks to a collaboration with Lawrence University (Appleton), Director Moisés Sepúlveda will be in attendance.


All of Me (Llévate mis amores)

Mexico, 2014, 90 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Arturo González Villaseñor
Movie Trailer
Thousands of migrants travel through Mexico on the train known as The Beast, vulnerable to countless dangers. In the state of Veracruz, they encounter Las Patronas, a group of Mexican women who, every day since 1995, have prepared a hot meal that they toss to the migrants as the train passes through their community. All of Me portrays a caring act of solidarity that contrasts with the violence of one of the cruelest routes in the world for undocumented migrants.


My German Friend

Germany/Argentina, 2012, 100 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Jeanine Meerapfel
Sulamit, the daughter of Jewish emigrants from Germany, grows up in Buenos Aires in the 1950s, living alongside former Nazis and fellow Jews who have fled from Europe after the war. She meets Friedrich, a young German boy, and the two become close. Their lives intertwine through periods of historical change and political upheaval in both Germany and Argentina.

Monday, April 13

The Ballad of Poor Jean (Casa Grande)

Brazil, 2014, 115 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Fellipe Barbosa
Co-presented with the UWM Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Set within Rio’s social elite, a teenage boy struggles to escape his overprotective parents as his family spirals into bankruptcy. As Barbosa writes in the Director’s statement, “It’s an extremely personal film, since it portrays the world in which I grew up and from which I tried to escape. My main intention was to tell a great story, focusing on characters and their relationships, set in a very specific and authentic universe.”

Tuesday, April 14

The Womb (El Vientre)

Peru, 2014, 83 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Daniel Rodríguez
In collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival

Silvia, a widow, is obsessed with having a baby. Desperate, she hatches a plan that takes control of a naive and, Silvia hopes, fertile orphan named Mercedes. Silvia kindly offers work to Mercedes and a room in her house, and then manipulates her to seduce a young man named Jaime, in order to become pregnant. Once Jaime and Mercedes have done their part, Silvia will do anything to keep the baby.

Wednesday, April 15

All About the Feathers (Por las Plumas)

Costa Rica, 2013, 85 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Neto Villalobos

Chalo is a solitary security guard who struggles to get his first rooster for cockfighting. His job, in an abandoned factory, is boring and monotonous, and it doesn’t seem to bother him that his life is equally monotonous. Once he finds his longed for rooster, naming it Rocky, his life changes. Not having a proper place to raise and train Rocky triggers a series of events that will put Chalo’s passion and love for his new friend to the test.

Thursday, April 16

We Are Mari Pepa (Somos Mari Pepa)

Mexico, 2013, 95 min
Blu Ray – Directed by Samuel Kishi Leopo

Alex, a 16-year-old teenager living with his grandma, has various plans to occupy himself during the summer: write a new song with his rock band, find a job and have his first sexual experience. He also becomes aware that his grandma is increasingly dependent on him. As the summer progresses, Alex discovers that his decisions and actions have to match the person he wants to become.

and don’t miss…
Sunday, April 19

Tender Muscles

5 films by Charles Fairbanks
Charles Fairbanks is a wrestler and filmmaker. His recent work focuses on Lucha Libre in Mexico, where the artist fights as the One-Eyed Cat (El Gato Tuerto) with a camera built into his mask. Co-sponsored by the UWM Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres, the UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, & Experimental Tuesdays at the UWM Union Theatre.