Ibero-American Film Festival at Lafayette College
September 30-October 28, 2020. Every Wednesday at 7pm
To access the movies, please go to the following page and use the following username and password (a link to stream each film will be available on the day of screening):
1) Ema (2019) / Pablo Larraín / Chile / 102 mins
September 30- 7:00 PM
Adoptive parents Ema (Variety’s 10 Latinxs To Watch 2020’s Mariana Di Girolamo) and Gastón (Gael García Bernal) are artistic free spirits in a contemporary dance troupe whose lives are thrown into chaos when their adopted son Polo is involved in a shockingly violent incident. As her marriage crumbles in the wake of the couple’s decision to reverse the adoption, Ema embarks on an odyssey of liberation and self-discovery as she dances and seduces her way into a daring new life.
Centering on the sinuous, electrifying art of reggaeton dance, Ema is an incendiary portrait of a lady on fire, the story of an artistic temperament forced to contend with societal pressure and the urge to conform. From one of Chile’s greatest living filmmakers, Pablo Larraín, comes a psychologically acute exhumation of Latin American life under restriction featuring an unforgettable heroine who is determined to move freely through the world, as she electrifies everyone and everything around her.
2) El ombligo de Guie’dani (Guie’dani’s Navel) (2019) / Xavi Sala / México /119 min
October 7- 7:00 PM
In a star-making performance, Sótera Cruz brings razor-sharp intensity to her portrayal of Guie’dani, a Zapotec girl determined to fight for her dignity.
Guie’dani is dragged to Mexico City by her mother to help in her work as a housekeeper for an upper-middle-class family. There, the subtle psychological subjugation inflicted by the white family functions as a metaphor for the oppression of the old world by the new. Yet, Guie’dani rejects the life of servitude and seeks her own identity through a friendship with another rebellious teen.
A striking contrast to Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Guie’dani’s Navel is a unique coming-of-age narrative exploring the racism inflicted on indigenous people in Mexico and the empowerment of a new generation that refuses to accept it silently.
3) El despertar de las hormigas (The Awakening of the Ants) (2019) / Antonella Sudassasi Furniss/ Costa Rica, Spain / 94 mins
October 14 – 7:00 PM
For thoughtful, demure young housewife Isa, life in a lush, postcard-perfect Costa Rican seaside village is far from anyone’s idea of a dream. She is being pressured by her intrusive and loudly opinionated in-laws to have another baby – a boy – even as her already cramped household struggles to stay afloat. She tends to the needs of her husband and two daughters while her own desires remain distant and ignored.
Isa finds herself suffocated by rigid gender roles and the cloistered, provincial thinking that comes with small-town life. Desperately imagining some other way of living—single, childless, desired—while growing increasingly tense towards those closest to her, Isa finds herself at a breaking point awakening to the possibilities of a life lived on her own terms, in this engrossing and intimate feature debut from writer/director Antonella Sudasassi Furniss.
4) Perfectos desconocidos (Perfect Strangers) (2018) / Manolo Coro / México / 104 mins
October 21 – 7:00 PM
From Mexican director Manolo Caro (Netflix’s The House of Flowers) comes the electrifying comedy about a seemingly simple dinner party. When a group of best friends gets together during a lunar eclipse to share an intimate meal in the tasteful house of Eva and Antonio, they suspect it’s just another typical night, until the hostess proposes a game. All guests must lay their cell phones on the table and read aloud all incoming messages and answer all incoming phone calls in front of the entire group. What begins as a provocative party game quickly becomes a wild ride full of twists and “textual tension” in this over the top comedy about the secrets we all carry in our pockets.
Cecilia Suárez and Bruno Bichir lead a stellar ensemble of some of Mexico’s most respected actors in this adaptation of Perfetti Sconosciuti by Paolo Genovese, the Italian film that has become a global sensation inspiring remakes in countries like Greece, Spain, China, and France among others.
5) Miguelito: Canto a Borinquen (Miguelito: A Song to Puerto Rico) (2020) / Sam Zubrycki / Colombia, Australia, Puerto Rico / 94 mins
October 28 – 7:00 PM
In 1973, the eleven-year-old Miguelito was discovered singing in San Juan airport by the legendary New York record producer Harvey Averne. Within a year, he went from the slums of Manuel A Perez to recording an album with the finest salsa musicians of the time, to finally performing with Eddie Palmieri at Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 people. Every radio station played some of his tracks, like Payaso and Canto a Borinquen. A year later, he had disappeared from public life.
Reminiscent of Searching for Sugar Man, filmmaker Sam Zubrycki and legendary music producer Harvey Averne follow Miguelito’s steps to find him. Featuring incredible archival footage of NYC in the 70s’ and salsa performances from Papo Lucca’s La Sonora Poncena, Malo Malo and many others, this is a film that celebrates the musical and cultural depth of the Caribbean, as well as the music industry, but most of all, Miguelito’s life, music, and the world he inhabited.