By Oriele Benavides, Renee Congdon and Catarina L. Oliveira
On Friday November 5th, 2021, graduate students from different departments attended the second screening of The Boquitas Pintadas Club, a film club organized by SPO graduate students Oriele Benavides, Renee Congdon and Catarina L. Oliveira.
The project, which aims to be a space of community building and interaction among students from various departments, presented the award-winning Brazilian film Bacurau (2019), written and directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles. Graduate student Catarina L. Oliveira introduced the film, situating Bacurau within Mendonça's broader filmography. After the movie, the attendees took part in an informal conversation while enjoying dinner provided by Taste of Mexico with the sponsorship of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
"The friendly space for discussion after the screenings invites us to think critically about them,” said Isabel Moreira, a second-year graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “Articulating my impressions on the two movies we have watched so far and hearing others' perspectives have enriched my two Friday nights spent at East Pyne. One of the highlights of the event is the opening speeches given by the Boquitas Pintadas leaders: they are filled with provoking thoughts and spikes of curiosities about the movies that made the whole experience even better!"
Elif Cuce, a third-year graduate student from the Department of Electric Engineering, shared her thoughts about last Friday's meeting: “Bacurau was presenting political and social problems in modern day Brazil, somewhat through a hopeful perspective, giving the audience a challenging version of a happy ending.”
Cuce also stated her overall opinion on the initiative: “Boquitas Pintadas is one of the things I enjoy most on campus! I found both movies very interesting even though I didn’t have much background information on the issues they touched. The best thing about this event is that you get to chat with the audience and learn about the political and social context implied in those fictions, so you can fill some of the gaps in your mind about the details in the movie.”
The Boquitas Pintadas Club was formed in the Fall semester of 2021 as a student-led group focused on promoting not only the distribution of films from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world, but also dialogue about these films and the varied themes they address, ranging from climate change and racial justice to neocolonialism and beyond.
The first screening was dedicated to a Colombian film, presented by graduate student Oriele Benavides. The next screening, on November 19th, will be dedicated to the Galician film O que arde (Fire Will Come, 2019), which graduate Renee Congdon will present. O que arde, a co-production between Spain, France, and Luxemburg, is a Galician-language piece set and filmed in Galicia, north-west Spain, and tells the story of a man named Amador, recently released from prison, who returns to his hometown for the first time in many years.
So far, the club’s inaugural semester has been a success, with attendees from various departments ranging from Applied Math to East Asian Studies to Psychology, and it will continue into the Spring semester with a new round of films sure to excite. The club is open to the entire graduate student and faculty/staff community at Princeton. Be sure to keep an eye out for more screenings in the future!