Muhlenberg College to Host Hispanic Film Festival


The department of languages, literatures & cultures welcomes the community to a Hispanic film festival March 12–18.

By: Iulia Tibrea    Friday, February 23, 2018 11:01 AM

Beginning Monday, March 12, Muhlenberg College will host a Hispanic film festival, sponsored by the department of languages, literatures & cultures, and in collaboration with film studies and the music departments, Hillel and the Spanish club. The event is free and open to the public.

Five films explore past and present issues and events in Latin American, Spanish and Latinx cultures and countries through the eyes of the people experiencing them.

Schedule

7:00 pm, Monday, March 12

339 Amin Abel Hasbun / Memory of a Crime (Dominican Republic, 2014, 97 min.)

Location: Trumbower, Room 130

Based on a real story, 339 Amín Abel Hasbun (Memory of a Crime) is an intriguing account of the murder of Amín Abel Hasbun, a brilliant student leader in the Dominican Republic accused of kidnapping US Embassy official, J. Crowley. Hasbun was one of many young leftists fighting against the government of Dr. Joaquín Balaguer, who favored a repressive regime. Hasbun’s death shook the sensibility of the Dominican people to the point that Balaguer had to orchestrate an investigation despite the fact that his government had been responsible for the cold-blooded murder. With a plot that involved the CIA and the Dominican Republic Police Force, the film does an excellent job at deconstructing the events that took place the morning of September 24, 1970, when Amin, his wife and 2-year-old son received the fatal visit from the police and country’s District Attorney.

7:30 pm, Tuesday, March 13

Pelo Malo / Bad Hair (Venezuela, 2013, 93 min.)

Location: Recital Hall, Baker Center for the Arts

A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother, in this tender but clear-eyed coming-of-age tale. Junior is a beautiful boy, with big brown eyes, a delicate frame, and a head of luxurious dark curls. But Junior aches to straighten those curls, to acquire a whole new look befitting his emerging fantasy image of himself as a long-haired singer. As the opportunity approaches to have his photo taken for the new school year, that ache turns into a fiery longing. Junior’s mother, Marta (Samantha Castillo), is barely hanging on. The father of her children has died, she recently lost her job as a security guard, and she now struggles to put a few arepas on the table for Junior and his baby brother. Junior doesn’t even know yet what it means to be gay, but the very notion prompts Marta to set out to “correct” Junior’s condition before it fully takes hold.

7:30 pm, Thursday March 15

Mr. Kaplan (Spain, Uruguay, Germany, 2014, 98 min.)

Location: Trumbower, Room 130

Uruguay’s official selection for Best Foreign Academy Award, Mr. Kaplan follows Jacob Kaplan’s ordinary life in Uruguay. Like many of his other Jewish friends, Jacob fled Europe for South America because of World War II. But now, turning 76, he’s become rather grumpy, fed up with his community and his family’s lack of interest in their own heritage. One beach bar may, however, provide him with an unexpected opportunity to achieve greatness and recover his family’s respect in the community: its owner, a quiet, elderly German, raises Mr. Kaplan’s suspicion of being a runaway Nazi. Ignoring his family’s concerns about his health, Jacob secretly recruits Contreras, a former police officer whose loyalty far exceeds his honesty, to help him investigate. Together, they will try to repeat the historic capture of Adolf Eichmann: by unmasking and kidnapping the German and secretly taking him to Israel.

7:30 pm, Friday, March 16

Una Noche Sin Luna / A Moonless Night (Argentina, Uruguay, 2015, 93 min.)

Location: Trumbower, Room 130

Up-and-coming Uruguayan director Germán Tejeira creates a moving, poignant, witty character study in his first feature film.On New Year’s Eve, three lonely characters travel to a small town in the Uruguayan countryside. Cesar, a divorced man, arrives at the town, where he will have dinner with his ex-wife’s new family in an attempt to win back his daughter’s love. Antonio, a small-time magician, is trying to get to the town to perform his routine at the community center, but his car breaks down. Stranded in the middle of the deserted road, he meets Laura, a woman working at the toll station. Miguel, a performer, prepares to sing at the community center’s New Year’s Eve party. By following their paths to the town, the characters have a chance to change their destinies.

6:30 pm, Sunday, March 18

Pequeñas Mentiras Piadosas/The Travel Agent (Cuba, Spain, Italy, 2015)

Location: Red Door, Seegers Union, Lower Level

From her tiny office overlooking the U.S. Interests Section, 58-year old Lourdes counsels thousands of Cubans seeking a U.S. travel visa. She coaches them on answering tricky questions, fine-tuning their stories so they have a better chance of succeeding. They come from every walk of life and from all over Cuba to unveil their own life stories at the “Oficina del amor” (Office of Love), as she’s baptized it. Despite helping others to travel, she has never been able to visit her own mother, son, brothers, grandsons, and nephews in Florida. “[I] quench the thirst of others every day, yet there is not a drop of water for me,” she says sadly. After a long wait, Lourdes’ time has finally come: her interview is set. Her dream to visit her dying mother, who emigrated during the sixties, has never been so close. Will she be able to travel and finally overturn her destiny of forced separation?

For more information, please contact Dr. Mirna Trauger at mirnatrauger@muhlenberg.edu.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, sciences, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.