Sometimes Carolina should not go to hell. Hear me out: Duke’s rivalry with UNC-Chapel Hill can overshadow some of Duke’s collaborations with the neighboring university.
In fact, the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at both UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke has existed since 1990 and has been combining the resources of both universities to develop enriching learning experiences about Latin American culture. This month, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month—which spans September and October— the Consortium is proud to host the North Carolina Latin American Film Series. Now in its 26th year, the festival celebrates Latin American film and exposes Latin audiovisual production to a wider audience.
The Series is beginning its run tonight at UNC’s Varsity Theatre at 7 p.m., screening Nostalgia por la luz, a critically acclaimed Spanish documentary exploring the effects of the Chilean political coup in 1973. The Series screens a film every night at different locations at both UNC and Duke, concluding next Friday on October 12. All of the screenings are free to the general public.
Every year the Series has a theme. Last year it was “Unfinished Visions,” focusing on drug trafficking and the related themes of violence, corruption and environmental degradation in Latin America. This year’s theme is “Water and Revolutions.” The water theme not only connects to UNC’s campus-wide academic theme of “Water in our World,” but also explores the water crisis in Latin America, the world’s most water-rich region. The “Revolution” aspect focuses on several leaders who shaped the Latin American political landscape such as Jose Martí, the Cuban revolutionary, and Lula da Silva, a beloved Brazilian president. All movies are in Spanish, but do not worry—for those who are unable to understand Spanish, there are subtítulos.
Miguel Rojas-Sotello, special events coordinator for the Center of Latin American & Caribbean Studies at Duke, is excited about this year’s collaboration with UNC. “The films this year are especially interesting and shed light on certain leaders that shaped Latin American history as well as essential problems the region faces concerning water,” he said. “The selection and breadth of the films are a result of this collaboration between departments, and it is a beautiful thing.”
Some of the highlights of the film series are scheduled for this weekend. At 7 p.m. on Friday in Duke’s Richard White Lecture Hall, filmmaker Daniel De Vivo will present Two Americans, his acclaimed documentary about illegal immigrants in America and answer questions about the documentary process. On Saturday at 4 p.m. in White Lecture Hall, documentarian Elva Bishop will screen her film about the Oaxaca area in Mexico; after that, the film También la lluvia will play at 7 p.m., exploring the water crisis in Latin America.