By Lyndee Zeller
The Roanoke College Modern Languages department has brought a Spanish Film Festival for the months of January and February. The films occur every week with a different director featured.
The first film was January 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Colket Center’s Wortman Ballroom. Following films will be shown on Wednesdays in the Ballroom. There will be five Spanish films with English subtitles. This is a cultural opportunity and academic credit requirement if involved in any level Spanish class for the Spring Semester. It is free to the public and sponsored by the Modern Language Department and the Jordan Foundation for the Humanities.
The films are provided by the Pragda’s Spanish Film Club which “offers grants to help high schools and universities bring contemporary Spanish and Latin American movies to campuses” (Roanoke College Public Relations Department).
The first film was a comedy about cultural conflict and language barriers where two men with different backgrounds find common ground. One from China and one from Argentina, they unexpectedly find mutual similarities. The film’s title is Un Cuento Chino from Argentina and debuted in 2012. The second film, which was seen on Wednesday, January 21, is from Mexico and was featured more recently in 2014, named Quien es Dayani Cristal? The film is about an investigation of an unidentified man’s body found in the desert. The protagonist retraces the man’s steps on the migrant trail of Central America. The third film on January 28, El Regres, is from Costa Rica, surfacing the film world in 2012. It explores the history of a man who escaped his life and has come back to face the painful realities of his home. February 11 will showcase the fourth movie, Pelo Malo from Venezuela, produced in 2013. This story is about a coming-of-age boy who is obsessed with straightening his hair and suffers the frustrations of his embittered single mother. The final film in this series is on February 18 and showcases Nicaraguan direction from 2011. La Yuma displays a strong female lead who aspires to be a boxer and rise above her life in the slums.
This is the first Spanish film festival to come to Roanoke College and students and faculty are encouraged to take the opportunity to witness cultural expressions from Latin American countries. Join the liberal arts movement and appreciate the development and art humanity creates, because it can so easily be dismissed.