Hispanic Film Festival

Maria Kennedy

The Spanish Club will be hosting its first ever (and long overdo) Hispanic film series, which kicks off tonight.

“Other language film series abound,” said Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures Anita Johnson. “We have to fill the gap… We want to offer students exposure to the Hispanic world of film.”

Johnson spent some time in Spain this summer. During her time there she purchased a multitude of Hispanic film DVDs, which allow her to indulge in her passion for Hispanic cinema. The idea for a Hispanic film series was hatched through various conversations with the co-president of Spanish Club, sophomore Jana Bauerova. To members of Spanish Club, the series is something that Colgate has needed for a long time.

“There are a lot of really good films from Spain and Latin America. I thought they could be made more visible to the students,” said Bauerova.

The series will be held on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Lawrence 305. Speakers with some expertise will introduce the films to give cultural background or to explain some of the issues presented in that night’s film.

A total of eleven films from countries including Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil will show over the course of the semester. At each viewing, refreshments will be served. The series will be run by Professor Johnson, Visiting Professor of Spanish Aida Diaz de Leon and members of the Spanish Club, with financial support from the Romantic Languages and Humanities departments. The first film will be shown tonight. It is a Spanish film about a real-life legendary Flamenco singer called Cameron.

“These films are quite different from the films people normally watch because they require your attention,” said Bauerova. “They get you thinking and emotionally involved.”

The series boasts a variety of films, ranging from older film directors like Luis Bu?uel to the more modern ones such as Pedro Amadovar. Bu?uel is a director whose films were made mostly in the 1920s and 1930s. During this period he lived in exile from Spain and was forced to make films in Mexico.

Of all new and old directors of Hispanic film, Pedro Amadovar is currently the most popular Spanish filmmaker. His film “Todo Sobre Mi Madre” will be shown as part of the series. The series will also show a mix of other popular films, like “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Amores Perros,” along with alternative, lesser-known titles. Members of the Spanish Club, in conjunction with Professor Johnson and Professor Diaz, de Leon decided on the films for the series.

All the films were chosen for their underlying themes that touch on important social issues.

“In general, we’re dealing with personal and public issues that living in a global world produces,” said Johnson. “The films reflect a variety of social realities in Spain and Latin America.”

Themes in the films cover various issues, including the importance of music, children on the street, prostitution and immigration. The films shown are meant to be thought-provoking, and Bauerova hopes that they will serve to ignite conversation between attendees.

Aside from the film series, the Spanish Club is planning other events for the coming year, including parties. It also has plans to create a salsa workshop and eventually watch the play Don Quixote as a group. Its members are also working on putting together a fun-filled theater production with local children, to teach them elementary Spanish.