Department of history and foreign language celebrates Latin American cultural arts

The department of history and foreign language will be bringing Latin American culture to JSU through film for a third time.

Dr. Alexandra Martinez, a Spanish professor and head of the Spanish Club at JSU, believes that this is an opportunity that all students should take advantage of.

According to Martinez, films of this nature are usually shown in cities with a big film industry such as Los Angeles or New York, and people who participate in these film festivals usually have to pay to be admitted.

Residents that wish to attend the Latin Film Festival in JSU, however, are not required to pay in order to attend.

The festival is funded by the Department of History and Foreign Language at JSU and Pragda, a film distribution company based in Brooklyn, New York with a mission to share and spread the spirit of Latin American culture by giving grants to multiple groups and organizations throughout the nation.

“It’s really phenomenal that here at JSU, we’ll be able to see new, unique, cutting-edge films that are the latest to come out of Latin America,” Martinez said.

Students will be able to see films like Pelo Malo: Bad Hair, a movie about a nine year-old boy that wishes to straighten his hair but receives strong disapproval from his mother; Barefoot in the Kitchen: Con la Pata Quebrada, a documentation about the representation of women in cinema; I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You (Vlajo Porque Preciso, Volto Porque te Amo, a film about a man who helps some people by building a canal in Northeastern Brazil, but hurt others because they are in the canal’s direct path.

By watching these movies, students will be able not only to see different cultures but also be able to see different Latin American landscapes.

Films from multiple Latin American countries including Spain and Venezuela will be shown at this year’s film festival.

There is something about the movies that Dr. Martinez cherishes deeply: the humanity in the films.

“Through film we can learn about other cultures and at the same time realize that we’re all human and that we all experience the same feelings and the same realities in some ways. These films show us that although things are different around the world, there are still some things that we share with other cultures.” Martinez said.

Martinez welcomes all potential attendees with open arms, wanting to see as many as people as possible.

Because it is Hispanic heritage month, there is no better time to expose students and local residents to Latin American culture.

The festival began on October 6 and will end on November 10.

Food and beverages may be provided at some of the showings.

These movies will be shown in Wallace Hall [the nursing building, across from  the library] every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Martinez encourages all students, faculty and local residents to participate in the Latin Film Festival, hoping to see many people there and seeing them exposed to Latin American culture.

Eric Taunton
Staff Reporter

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