Brimming with gentle humour and a dogged sense of the strength of community during hard times, Salvadoran director Arturo Menéndez’s charming feature debut is a character study of a simple piñata salesman named Don Cleo whose life is turned upside down when he falls victim to an extortionist he can’t possibly afford to pay. The harder he tries to raise the funds, the deeper into trouble he gets. If Don Cleo hopes to survive, he'll have to face his fears and stand up to his tormentors.
Juanicas is an intimate portrait of a Mexican immigrant family in Quebec affected by mental illness. Using material shot over almost 10 years, the filmmaker documents her complex relationship with her mother and brother, both suffering from bipolar disorder. She starts filming when Juan, her brother, returns to live in Canada after several years away in Mexico. At first the camera provides a distance that helps them reconnect with each other, but soon old patterns return.
On the occasion of SFU's 50th Anniversary, SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs and VLAFF are honoured to co-present this dynamic fourth edition of Indigenous Film from BC & Beyond, a showcase of short films from Indigenous filmmakers from across Canada alongside works by Mixtec and Zapotec filmmakers from Oaxaca, Mexico.
SATURDAY, SEPT 12 | 7PM
FREE ADMISSION (with $2 VLAFF Membership)
DOUBLE EXPOSURE - A mixed media performance by Edgardo Moreno
English, 23 min
Director/Composer: Edgardo Moreno
Priests. Revolutionaries. Grandpas. In 1965, six young Spanish priests arrive in Bolivia as missionaries. Somewhat rebellious and anti-conformist, they think they will change mentalities. But they soon find that they will be the ones to be changed. Witnesses to historic Latin American social movements, they cannot help but become involved; they rub shoulders with Che Guevara’s guerrilleros, hide weapons, shelter wounded men. Kicked out of the country, expelled by the Church, eventually they end up having to disband.
How do people survive the terror and heartbreak of life under a brutal dictatorship? This hard-hitting film is a visual collage chronicling General Augusto Pinochet's reign of terror in Chile. The imagery speaks for itself, as the film presents a scathing tableau of military rule. The exclusive film footage comes from the personal archives of a news camera operator who worked in Chile for 17 years. Poignant and subversive, it recounts the brutal atrocities suffered by Chileans, while championing their efforts to regain their freedom.
The Palace follows the everyday life of seventeen women who live together in Mexico, sharing a large house for both emotional and financial reasons. They help each other train for various jobs as nannies, domestic workers and private nurses for elderly patients. Intimate and observational, the film is beautifully shot in a palette of muted blues and greys. Its pace reflects the pace of these women’s lives, vacillating between tedium and profundity. The Palace is an important addition to the oeuvre of one of Canada and Mexico’s most prolific avant-garde filmmakers.
Georgetown, Guyana. Muscle is a busy man. Striving to pull his family up into the middle class, he ekes out a living raising fighting cocks and songbirds. And he’s trying, not very successfully, to get his mother, Mary Smith, off the booze. At 75, she’s still able to recite poems that she wrote years ago to her family who listen with love and admiration, but she also has a troublesome tendency to head off down the road to get drunk on “high wine.” Mary drinks to forget, in particular to drown out the night, which she has good reason to dread.
Thin, doughy folds encasing a savoury filling of meat and vegetables: The recipe for dal puri travelled with indentured workers from India’s Gangetic plain to British and Dutch Caribbean colonies in the 19th Century. In the 1960s, the wrapped roti migrated from Trinidad to North America, where it is known as West Indian roti. As the dish moved from home fire to street stall to restaurant chain, and from festival to fast food, the flatbread was transformed in ingredients, cooking method, ways of eating and identity.