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Nosotros, la música

 ("We, the Music")
Rogelio París (Cuba, 1965, 70 min.)

Shot during one of the most vibrant moments in Cuban cinema, this recently restored 1965 documentary makes no concessions to white-bread images of Latin music or Cuba. A home-bred prequel to Buena Vista Social Club, with wonderful footage of some of Cuba's greatest musicians, including Bola de Nieve, Celeste Mendoza, Chapotin, Joseito and Milacho Rivera. Rogelio París, who teaches at San Antonio de los Baños Film School, is one of Cuba's foremost documentary filmmakers.

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El Desencanto

Jaime Chávarri (Spain, 1974, 90 min.)

A cult documentary about the family of Leopoldo Panero, one of the official poets of the Franco regime. His widow and three children tear apart the dead father– and each other. A violent, evocative psychodrama that remains both a biting document of a nation’s transition from dictatorship to democracy and a unique portrait of a family trying to come to terms with its own past. Jaime Chávarri is one of Spain’s most acknowledged directors. His films include A un Dios desconocido and Las cosas del querer.

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Ni olvido ni perdón: Tlatelolco

Richard Dindo (Switzerland / Mexico, 2003, 70 min.)

Between July and October 1969, Mexican students occupied the universities, and thousands of people gathered in streets and squares to demonstrate peacefully against the regime. On October 2nd, the police opened fire on a massive demonstration in Plaza Tlatelolco, killing more than 300 people. This riveting documentary explores that tragic event, which still has profound resonance in current Mexican politics and civic life. Richard Dindo directed the award-winning film Ernesto Che Guevara: The Bolivian Diary.

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El Milagro de Candeal

 ("The Miracle of Candeal")
Fernando Trueba (Spain / Brazil, 2004, 125 min.)

The great 85-year-old Cuban pianist Bebo Valdez, who has lived in exile in Stockholm since the 1960s, travels to Bahia, Brazil, where the music and religions of Africa have remained alive like nowhere else. There, he meets Mateus Mateus, a local musician who acquaints him with the conservatory that has miraculously transformed the favela called Candeal. Fernando Trueba has won an Academy Award for Belle Epoque. His previous documentary, Calle 54, is a definitive record of some of the greats of Latin Jazz in performance.

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Un instante en la vida ajena

("A Glimpse of Others Lives")
José Luis López Linares (Spain, 2003, 80 min.)

This extraordinary document recovers the amateur films shot by Madronita Andreu, an intellectual born into a prominent Catalan family at the end of the 19th Century. A daughter of the famous Dr. Andreu (a household name in Catalonia for his cough syrup), she recorded friends and family with her 16mm camera for over half a century. Spanish Film Academy award for best documentary 2004.  José Luis López Linares directed Asaltar los cielos and Extranjeros de sí mismos.

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El Perro Negro Stories from the Spanish Civil War

Péter Forgács (Hungary / Netherlands / Spain, 2005, 84 min.)

A poetic collage of amateur films about men and women who took part in the Spanish Civil War. The films and stories of the protagonists, Joan Salvans Piero and Ernesto Díaz, lead us through Spain in the 1930s. Ernesto, a middle class student from Madrid, survived the war. Joan, a Catalan industrialist, was killed six days after its outbreak. Best Documentary, Tribeca Film Festival. Directed by the celebrated Hungarian filmmaker Péter Forgács, author of Maelstrom.

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Cándido López: Los campos de batalla

("Cándido López: Battlefields")
José Luis García (Argentina/Paraguay, 2005, 100 min.)

A fascinating investigation into the life and work of legendary Argentinean painter Cándido López. As a soldier, he portrayed in his unique, sprawling battle scenes the so-called "Guerra del Paraguay" (1865-70), the bloodiest and least-remembered war in the history of South America. With the eye of a painter, director Garcia sets out on an almost impossible quest to find the real places and histories behind the pictures, and ends up discovering the ghosts of a traumatized nation. Audience Award, Buenos Aires Festival. Followed by discussion with José Luis García (director) and Jeremy Adelman (Professor of History). Q&A with director José Luis García and Jeremy Adelman, Professor of History. Discussion with Filmmakers Mercedes Álvarez and Jordi Balló in Prof. Antonio Monegal's class, SPA 319.

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El cielo gira

("The Sky Turns")
Mercedes Álvarez (Spain, 2004, 115 min.)

Mercedes Álvarez was the last child to be born in Aldealseñor, a tiny village in northern Spain where only 14 people remain, a last dying generation. The director returns home for the first time to record a disappearing way of life and turns out an exhilarating, universal film about the passing of time. Álvarez’s debut as director earned Best Film awards at Buenos Aires, Paris and Rotterdam festivals. Followed by discussion with Mercedes Álvarez (director) and Jordi Balló (producer). Q&A with Mercedes Álvarez and Jordi Balló.

Private Movies

Through illustrations from different kinds of documentary films, participants will analyze how documentaries are made and how filmmakers use private materials such as home movies, confidential information, diaries and letters to make the private life public. Workshop with Andrés Di Tella. 

Lunch Discussion

with filmmakers Mercedes Álvarez, Jordi Balló and José Luis García, coordinated by Andrés Di Tella.