Victorians love Latin American culture and the sixth annual Latin American and Spanish Film Week, brings a sample of the best films from Latin America and Spain to town Sept. 22 to 27.
Organized by the Hispanic Film Society of Victoria, this year’s festival includes films from Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Spain and Argentina. “The films are of general interest. They cover social and political issues,” says Dan Russek of the Hispanic Film Society of Victoria and the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at UVic. “Some of the movies don’t portray political problems, they’re more like fun comedies. We work hard on the selection process.”
The film festival is held at Cinecenta, and is open to the public. “All the films are subtitled in English,” Russek adds.
The Hispanic Film Society is also bringing the director of Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians (Huicholes: Los Ultimos Guardianes Del Peyote), Hernan Vilchez for a Q&A after the show on Sept. 22.
“He’s from Argentina, although the documentary happens in Mexico. Huicholes is the name of the indigenous group who preserve the sacred territory [from mining]. For them [peyote] not a drug, it’s more like a medium to be in touch with the gods,” says Russek. “It touches on social issues surrounding indigenous people trying to preserve a traditional way of life. It’s a very interesting personal experience.”
Other films featured include Behaviour (Conducta) which focuses on a young boy in Havana. “It’s about raising kids and the role of teachers and education,” says Russek.
“One movie I really loved is Blondes (Güeros),” he adds. “It has won several awards on the international film circuit … best movie, best director at the (2014) Ariel awards, the Mexican equivalent to the Oscars.
“It’s a witty movie about three youngsters exploring Mexico City, done in a very original way. Even though it’s in black and white (it’s based on) recent events. There is something very real about it, about living in Mexico City and the struggles and joys of being young people,” he says. cinecenta.com or hispfilmvic.ca