Adams State will host a Spanish Film Festival in September


Who is Dayani Cristal? film still

Who is Dayani Cristal? (¿Quién es Dayani Cristal?) film still.

Celebrating the New Wave of Ibero American Cinema, Adams State University will host a Spanish Film Festival in September.

All films will have English subtitles. Four films, Open Cage (Los Bañistas), Yvy Maraey: Land Without Evil, Operation E (Operación E), and Even the Rain (También la Lluvia) be shown at 7 p.m. from September 17 through September 20 in the Adams State Art Building room 227, located in Alamosa, Colo.

With a special screening of Who is Dayani Cristal? (¿Quién es Dayani Cristal?) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in the Conejos, Colo., at the Parish Hall of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the oldest church in Colorado.

Directed by Marc Silver, Mexico, Who is Dayani Cristal?, winner of the Sundance 2013 Cinematography award and nominated in the World Documentary Competition, shows how one life becomes testimony to the tragic results of the U.S. war on immigration. Deep in the sun-blistered Sonora desert beneath a cicada tree, Arizona border police discover a decomposing male body. Lifting a tattered T-shirt they expose a tattoo that reads "Dayani Cristal." Who is this person? What brought him here? How did he die? And who—or what—is Dayani Cristal? Following a team of dedicated forensic anthropologists from the Pima County Morgue in Arizona, director Marc Silver seeks to answer these questions and give this anonymous man an identity. As the forensic investigation unfolds, Mexican actor and activist Gael Garcia Bernal retraces this man's steps along the migrant trail in Central America. In an effort to understand what it must have felt like to make this final journey, he embeds himself among migrant travelers on their own mission to cross the border. He experiences first-hand the dangers they face and learns of their motivations, hopes and fears. As we travel north, these voices from the other side of the border wall give us a rare insight into the human stories, which are so often ignored in the immigration debate.

On Thursday, September 17 the film Open Cage, directed by Max Zunino, Mexico, takes subtle and ultimately hopeful look into one of society's mayor issues: the abandonment to its youth and senior populations. Among those affected when the economy collapses are rebel teenager Flavia and her elderly and grumpy neighbor Martín. Outside the building there is a camp of protesters among whom human values still govern coexistence. However, its members have a serious problem: they need a shower. Flavia, Martín, and their neighbors down the street will learn to relate to each other, not only to survive the crisis, but to rediscover the meaning of their lives. Juan Carlos Colombo as Martín and Sofía Espinosa as Flavia, carry the film with incredible chemistry. With Open Cage, Max Zunino proposes an optimistic solution to a conflict that may appear hard to solve, but that may be lessened by calling on small individual changes that allow us to get along better with others.

Yvy Maraey: Land Without Evil film still

Showing on Friday, September 18, Yvy Maraey: Land Without Evil is directed by Juan Carlos Valdivia, Bolivia. A Bolivian filmmaker and a Guaraní Indian travel together through the forests of South Eastern Bolivia with the intention of making a film about the Guarani People. The starting point is a 1911 film by Swedish explorer Erland Nordenskiöld. But today's reality turns out to be much more intense than the nostalgia for a lost world. In Yvy Maraey, the white man (the director) and the Indian create and interpret their own characters, walking the thin line between documentary, fiction, and performance. Far from observing another culture, we are watched and questioned about our identity in a country undergoing enormous social, political, and historical change as it struggles to create an intercultural society. Yvy Maraey is a quest for the knowledge within, seen through the eyes of the other. The learning comes from listening, which is another form of seeing. The film combines reality with an epic tale of a heroic indigenous nation.

operation e film still

On Saturday, September 19 the film Operation E, directed by Miguel Courtois Paternina, Spain, France, Colombia, was a controversial film in Colombia due to the real event on which it is based (the kidnapping of Clara Rojas and Ingrid Betan¬court). Operation E was at risk of being banned but was finally released in the country after a politicized trial. Crisanto is a poor cocaine farmer who lives with his fam¬ily in the Guaviare jungle, a region ruled by the Fuer¬zas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). A group of guerrilla fighters give them a moribund baby and tell them to take care of him. The doctors heal the baby, but, believing he's been abandoned and abused, they take it away. Two years later, the guerrilla asks urgently for the child as he is at the center of an exchange of hostages, negoti¬ated between the presidents of Colombia and Venezuela that is bringing both countries to the brink war. This international political crisis has significant media impact and is widely re¬ported across the globe. They give him three days to find the boy or he and his fam¬ily will be killed… This is a political thriller that shows what happens away from the cameras and microphones, a contrasting view of the official version.

even the rain film still

The final film in the festival, Even the Rain directed by Icíar Bollaín, Spain, will show on Sunday, September 20. Filmmaker Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and his cynical producer Costa (Luis Tosar) arrive in Cochabamba, Bolivia to make a film about Columbus's voyage to the New World and the subjugation of the indigenous population. Just as filming begins, the natives face a crisis when the government privatizes the water company and prices skyrocket. Daily protests erupt and the local man cast as a rebellious sixteenth century Taino chief, also becomes a leader in the water hike protests. Even the Rain was a Spanish submission for the 2012 Best Foreign-Language Academy Award.

The Adams State Spanish Film Festival was made possible by a grant awarded to Adams State by PRAGDA, a film distribution company created to promote, disseminate, and maintain the legacy of Spanish and Latin American cinema though unique cultural initiatives. This grant is partially funded by SPAIN Arts & Culture and the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain. This festival is sponsored by the Adams State Art Department; the English, Theatre, and Communication Department; the History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Political Science, and Spanish Department; the Title V Office; ASU Community Partnerships; and the Colorado Film Commission.