Cine Las Americas Celebrates 20 Years in Austin
By Richard Gonzalez
Cine Las Americas will be kicking off the 20th year of its multicultural film festival this Wednesday in Austin, Texas. The festival has always promoted the creative of works of the Latinx community, and this year not only marks a milestone, but also finds the organizers at a crossroads. The current political climate, and the fact that other Latinx festivals have shuttered over the years, has made the Cine Las Americas team refocus and find new and creative ways to make the film festival more inclusive; the festival has reached out to the community more than ever before to collaborate on special events throughout the next five days. We have highlighted five films that we highly recommend, including films we have featured in the last few weeks that are making their debut in Austin.
You’re Killing Me Susana
When Eligio (Gael Garcia Bernal) wakes up to find his wife Susana has left him without any warning, he begins a search that ultimately leads him from Mexico City to Iowa, where Susana has been taking a writer’s workshop. He sells his car and most of his belongings to get to Iowa, and the film follows Eligio’s path to reconciliation and how he must change some of his habits in order to keep from losing Susana.
Alba is an 11 year old girl who spends most of her time in silence playing by herself due to her mother’s illness. When her mother is hospitalized, she is sent to her father Igor, a man with whom she has not spent time since she was 3 years old. Rebuilding that relationship ultimately helps place Alba on a path to personal growth.
History has taught us so much about the life of civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, but less is known about his United Farm Workers cofounder, Dolores Huerta. The new documentary Dolores hopes not only to change that, but to spotlight Huerta and her courageous fights for farm workers, women’s rights, equal rights for the LGBTQ community, and environmental justice. You can read our feature on the film here.
I Dream In Another Language
A young linguist travels to Mexico to research a language that is on the verge of disappearing, When he arrives, he discovers that the last two people that speak the language had a falling out 50 years before and refuse to speak to one another. Attempting to reunite them, the researcher discovers a secret past.
In his short documentary, son jarocho musician and director Cameron Quevedo introduces us to the last four güireros of the Veracruz region while simultaneously calling attention to the circumstances that have led to the decline of their musical practices. You can scope out our conversation with the director on the film here.
Cine Las Americas will kick off May 3rd with a red carpet event at The Mezanine at The Blanton and a screening of You’re Killing Me Susana. There will be multiple events and screenings till the event closes on Sunday, May 7th with the festival’s closing film, I Dream In Another Language, and a wrap party at King Bee. You can purchase a badge and find out all the details on the event at Cine Las Americas.org