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October 2005

4th Annual Boston Latino International Film Festival

The Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF) focuses on alternative films with social content from Latin America and Spain, and on films dealing with Latino issues in the United States.  Categories include feature films, documentaries, and shorts. The festival will host over eighty films in nine days, presenting socially relevant and contemporary themes such as the predicament of the thriving Jewish community in Cuba. As in the past, the festival will host a series of Latino gay-themed films, and, this year, will also feature a series of Brazilian films exploring the political and social climate in South Americaís largest country.  A highlight of this year's festival is a larger sampling of contemporary dramatic films from Spain.  The festival will also include films from the United States, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Mexico, and more than a dozen other countries from the Caribbean and Central and South America.  Many of these films are film festival award winners and will be making their Boston area premieres.  BLIFF is committed to breaking stereotypes and building communities, using the medium of film to strengthen inter-cultural understanding and promote the work of independent filmmakers.

For more information and a detailed screening schedule, please visit www.bliff.org.


The Devil's Miner

Directed by Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani
Bolivia 2005, color, 82 min.
Spanish with English subtitles

14-year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12-year-old brother Bernardino work in the Bolivian silver mines of Cerro Rico, which date back to the sixteenth century. This moving documentary was honored with the 2005 FIPRESCI International Film Critics Award and featured at the 2005 HotDocs Film Festival in Toronto.

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Favela Rising

Directed by Matt Mochary, Jeff Zimbalist
Brazil 2005, color, 78 min.
Portuguese with English subtitles

The film documents a man and a movement, a city divided and a favela (Brazilian squatter settlement) united. Haunted by the murders of his family and many of his friends, Anderson Sá is a former drug-trafficker who turns social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro's most feared slum. Through hip-hop music, the rhythms of the street, and Afro-Brazilian dance, he rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage drug armies and sustained by corrupt police.

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Al Otro Lado

Directed by Natalia Almada
US/Mexico 2005, color, 78 min.
Spanish with English subtitles

An aspiring corrido composer from the drug capital of Mexico faces two choices to better his life: trafficking drugs or crossing the border illegally into the United States. From Sinaloa, Mexico to the streets of South Central and East LA, The film explores the world of drug smuggling, illegal immigration, and the corrido music that chronicles it all.

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Cuba: Beyond the Pearl of the Antilles

Directed by Joycelyn Bejar
US 2005, color, 69 min.
Spanish with English subtitles

 

This film documents the lives of the many Cuban Jews who left Cuba, where they lived since the early 1900's, in 1960. The film also has a political perspective and clearly illustrates the severe adverse effect that Castro has had on the Cuban people and their economy. The Jewish community in Cuba continues to survive. The film explores how they arrived in Cuba, how they continue to practice their religion, and why they have remained close to their roots.

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The Weakness of the Bolshevik

Directed by Manuel Martin Cuenca
Spain 2003, color, 95 min.
With Luis Tosar, Mar Regueras, María Valverde
Spanish with English subtitles

A depressed thirty-something businessman becomes involved with a teenage girl, almost 20 years his junior. His risky, seductive game leads to tragedy in this Madrid-set tale of pranks, love, and tragedy. Cuenca unleashes his creative talent in this striking film, capturing the essence of the streets of Madrid with eye-catching cinematography.

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Matando Cabos

Directed by Billy and Fernando Rovzar
Mexico 2004, color, 94 min.

Matando Cabos is a dark comedy about a group of teens in Mexico City. Two youngsters decide to kidnap a rich Mexican businessman but accidently kidnap the wrong man. The story unfolds in dark comedic episodes, with a chaotic Mexico City as backdrop.

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Boricua

Directed by Marisol Torres
US 2004, color, 100 min.
With Eric Aviles, Aimee Garcia, Victor Gonzalez
Spanish with English subtitles

Writer/director Marisol Torres tells the intertwined stories of four young Puerto Ricans in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Torres' semi-autobiographical, irreverently humorous, and unflinchingly candid portrait of her home and her people vividly captures both the vibrancy and the challenges of her Puerto Rican heritage.

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Solo un Cargador

Directed by Juan Alejandro Ramirez
Peru 2003, color, 20 min.
Spanish with English subtitles

This beautiful documentary is a meticulously filmed portrait of the hard life of indigenous Peruvians, "cargadores," who trek through the mountains of Peru with baggage on their backs. The spectacular Peruvian Andes are the setting for this look at one of Latin America's open secrets: discrimination against its indigenous people.

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