44th Annual Latin American Film Series

presented by
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
April 13-April 20, 2023 Central Time

Free Hybrid In-theater and Virtual Series

Select films will be screened at the UWM Union Theater and other selections will be made available online.

All films will be shown in their original language with English subtitles. You must register in order to gain access to the virtual festival and watch the films. (Films are not rated; many include adult content.)

For more information: LAFSatUWM@gmail.com

LAFS 2023 programmer: EJ Basa
co-programmer: Julie Kline

The series is co-sponsored by the UWM Union Student Involvement and Union Cinema; the Provost’s Office; UWM Union Sociocultural Programming; the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies; the International Business Center of the Lubar School of Business; the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education; The Queer Curatorial Fund of the UWM Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres; Honors College; English Language Academy; Institute of World Affairs; Language Resource Center; Military and Veterans Resource Center; Roberto Hernández Center; Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society; UWM LGBTQ+ Resource Center; UWM Libraries; Latinx Student Union; Women’s Resource Center; UWM Departments and Programs: African and African Diaspora Studies; Ancient and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Anthropology; Arts and Humanities; Art History; Communication; Cultures and Communities; English; Ethnic Studies; Film Studies; Film, Video, Animation and New Genres; Freshwater Sciences; Geography; Geosciences; Global Studies; History; Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latinx Studies (LACUSL); MA in Language, Literature and Translation (MALLT); Linguistics; Mathematics; Music; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology; Spanish & Portuguese; Translation & Interpreting Studies; Urban Studies; and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Registrarse aquí!Ver las películas aquí.
Registration closed on April 20, 2023. Watch films here / Ver las películas aquí April 13-20, 2023

Films/Películas UWM Union Theater Screenings

April 14, 15 and 20, 2023

In-theater film screenings are available according to the schedule below

April 14, 2023 | 7pm


Guatemala, 2021, 125 min, Dir. Justin Lerner

Descripción en español abajo. 

After her sister goes missing, Sarita, a working-class girl from Guatemala City, travels to the seaside town of Puerto Barrios to infiltrate a group of young gang members. As she risks her life to join the gang, Sarita becomes involved with her sister’s dangerous ex-boyfriend and gets closer to learning what happened to her sister. FilmAffinity

Tras la desaparición de su hermana, Sarita, una chica de clase trabajadora de Ciudad de Guatemala, viaja a la ciudad costera de Puerto Barrios para hacerse amiga de Andrés, el peligroso exnovio de su hermana, e infiltrarse en su pandilla, convencida de que tiene algo que ver. Con una determinación inquebrantable por descubrir la verdad, Sarita se involucra cada vez más con Andrés y el mundo implacable de su pandilla. FilmAffinity

April 15, 2023 | 5PM


Peru, 2021, 104 min, Dir. Rossana Díaz Costa


Descripción en español abajo.

Julius is a high class child of the 50’s, in Lima-Peru. He lives in a palace with his family and a lot of servants. He will lose the innocence little by little, when discovering and never understanding an adult world full of inequalities and injustices.  FilmAffinity

Julius es un niño de clase alta en la Lima de los años 50. Vive en un palacio con su aristocrática familia y una extensa servidumbre. Conforme pasan los años, Julius poco a poco irá perdiendo la inocencia, al descubrir -y nunca comprender- un mundo adulto lleno de desigualdades e injusticias. FilmAffinity

April 15, 2023 | 8PM


Cuba, 2021, 86 min, Dir. Hugo Perez


Descripción en español abajo.

At the age of 89, Cuba’s national treasure, Afro-Cuban music icon Omara Portuondo defies age-ist expectations and tours the world. In the process, the songs she sings convey the feelings and the experiences that defined her life as a trailblazer who has inspired generations of women of color to follow in her footsteps. IMDb

A la edad de 89 años, el tesoro nacional de Cuba, el icono de la música afrocubana Omara Portuondo desafía las expectativas de la edad y recorre el mundo. En el proceso, las canciones que canta transmiten los sentimientos y las experiencias que definieron su vida como pionera que ha inspirado a generaciones de mujeres de color a seguir sus pasos. IMDb

April 20, 2023 | 7PM


Chile, 2022, 83 min, Dir. Patricio Guzmán

Descripción en español abajo.

One day, without warning, a revolution exploded. It was the event that master documentarian Patricio Guzmán had been waiting for all his life: a million and a half people in the streets of Santiago, Chile, demanding justice, education, health care, and a new constitution to replace the strident rules imposed on the country during the Pinochet military dictatorship. Urgent and inspired, MY IMAGINARY COUNTRY features harrowing front-line protest footage and interviews with dynamic activist leaders and powerfully connects Chile’s complex, bloody history to contemporary revolutionary social movements and the election of a new president. Icarus Films

Un día, sin previo aviso, estalló una revolución. Era el evento que el maestro documentalista Patricio Guzmán había estado esperando toda su vida: un millón y medio de personas en las calles de Santiago de Chile, exigiendo justicia, educación, salud y una nueva constitución que reemplace las reglas estridentes impuestas en el país durante la dictadura militar de Pinochet. Urgente e inspirador, MI PAÍS IMAGINARIO presenta imágenes desgarradoras de protestas de primera línea y entrevistas con líderes activistas dinámicos y conecta poderosamente la compleja y sangrienta historia de Chile con los movimientos sociales revolucionarios contemporáneos y la elección de un nuevo presidente. Icarus Films

Films/Películas Available Virtually Online

Films are available online from April 13-April 20, 2023

Watch films via the UWM CLACS LAFS Pragda Spanish Film Club Virtual Film Festival Site.


Brazil, 2020, 86 min, Dir. Déo Cardoso

Descripción en español abajo.

Pragda Study Guide

Based on real events, this political drama fuses Brazilian history with international anti-racist movements. Saulo, a black introvert student and fan of the Black Panther Movement, challenges his school in the largely white city of Fortaleza.

Basado en hechos reales, este drama político fusiona la historia brasileña con los movimientos antirracistas internacionales. Saulo, un estudiante negro introvertido y fanático del Movimiento Pantera Negra, desafía a su escuela en la ciudad mayoritariamente blanca de Fortaleza. Pragda


Dominican Republic, Spain, 2018, 90 min, Dirs. Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada

Descripción en español abajo.

Pragda Study Guide

The first dramatic feature by documentary duo Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada centers on a quinceañera celebration and shows how racial prejudices affect a teenage girl’s choices.

El tranquilo mundo de una familia pequeño burguesa comienza a desmoronarse a partir del momento en que Miriam, de 14 años, conoce a su novio de Internet. Mientras sus amigas preparan con entusiasmo la tradicional fiesta de los quince años, Miriam no sabe cómo explicar a su familia que su novio es negro.


Colombia, 2020, 83 min, Dir. Federico Atehortúa Arteaga

Descripción en español abajo.

Pragda Study Guide

In the tradition of Harun Farocki and João Moreira Salles, in this personal film essay, Federico Atehortúa Arteaga examines the relationship between film footage, the events of the war in Colombia, his family’s story, and the origins of cinema in the country.

On March 6, 1906, four people were executed in the streets for the attempted assassination of the then-president of Colombia, Rafael Reyes. The representation in images of this event is considered the beginning of cinema in Colombia. Arteaga embarks on a deep investigation of media representation through his film, which explores how cinema became an instrument of power and control in the country’s violent political history.

As Arteaga’s mother suffers an episode of mutism -without any explanation she stops talking-, the film’s focus widens to examine the family’s own relationship with imagery, memory, and politics. As a result, Arteaga decides to investigate the family’s past and finds a video archive of a children’s play in which he himself acts, pretending to be a captured false guerrilla.

These images bring him back to his original film and lead him to find the relationship that exists between recent tragic events in Colombian history, the false positives, innocent people extrajudicially killed by members of the Colombian army, and then falsely labeled as enemy combatants. Nobody knows exactly how many young people became false positives. The most recent report released by Colombia’s attorney general’s office says that between 1988 and 2014, around 2,248 people were killed. Previous reports by human rights organizations have estimated that the number may be 5,000 or even higher.

El 6 de marzo de 1906 cuatro personas fueron ejecutadas en la vía pública por el intento de asesinato del entonces presidente de Colombia, Rafael Reyes. La tradición recoge la representación en imágenes de este evento como el inicio del cine en Colombia. Mientras un director realiza una película sobre este tema, de forma repentina, su madre sufre un episodio de mutismo: sin explicación alguna deja de hablar. Esta crisis personal lo obliga a detener la película y a iniciar un registro sobre la enfermedad de su madre. A raíz de esta investigación, el director decide escudriñar en el pasado familiar y encuentra un archivo de video de una obra de teatro infantil en la que él mismo actúa, pretendiendo ser un falso guerrillero capturado. Esto lo devuelve a su película original y lo lleva a encontrar la relación que existe entre trágicos eventos recientes de la historia colombiana, los falsos positivos, y los orígenes del cine en Colombia. FilmAffinity


Argentina, 2020, 73 min, Dir. Ana Katz

Descripción en español abajo.

Pragda Study Guide

Acclaimed Argentine auteur Ana Katz’s funny, adventurous, and bittersweet new film follows Sebastian’s peaceful life as it begins to crumble when he loses his job because of his dog’s barking. From that moment on, he begins to wander through life between different temporary jobs over the years. Years in which he will also know friendship, love, and fatherhood, until, unexpectedly, existence on earth is totally altered by a phenomenon from outer space, transforming the film into a dystopian satire about the future we will leave to new generations.

Sebastián, un joven de treinta y tantos años, tiene varios trabajos temporales que van y vienen y lo presionan, y abraza el amor cada vez que encuentra la oportunidad. A través de pequeños hechos puntuales, su transformación se retrata en el contexto de un mundo que también se transforma y coquetea con un posible apocalipsis. FilmAffinity

Nudo Mixteco

Mexico, 2021, 91 min, Dir. Ángeles Cruz

Descripción en español abajo.

Taking place in a rural Mixtec village in Oaxaca, southern Mexico, Nudo Mixteco follows the return of María, Esteban, and Toña, each from a different direction. Each of them has a different reason for coming back, just like each had a different reason to leave in the first place. However, all three face a confrontation that will force a turning point in their lives.

María buries her mother, her father rejects her, and in uncertainty, she asks her childhood love, Piedad, to leave with her. Esteban returns after three years to discover that Chabela, his wife, is living with another man. Enraged he calls the village people to prosecute her in an assembly. Toña, faced with her daughter’s abuse, relives her own pain when she returns to confront her family to protect her.

Narrated from the point of view of the women, the three stories momentarily intersect with each other and together paint an exceptional picture of the local culture, in which filmmaker Ángeles Cruz herself grew up. Festivities, rituals, and a village council that acts as a tribunal – these elements make up the fabric of a community that should offer protection, warmth, and security. However, the fates of the three protagonists will reveal a constant fight against age-old patriarchal power and prejudice.

Nudo mixteco abordará tres perspectivas distintas de esa experiencia humana que prácticamente no se ha abordado nunca: la sexualidad de las mujeres indígenas en México. FilmAffinity

This festival is made possible through a Pragda Spanish Film Club grant and the support of our co-sponsors.

English language film information is provided by Pragda unless stated otherwise.