PANORAMA LATINX is an initiative of the Gene Siskel Film Center dedicated to year-round Latin American film programming. We engage the dynamic Latinx community of greater Chicago through showcasing the work of emerging and established Latinx filmmakers, educational screenings, and community partnerships.
When Two Worlds Collide
2016, Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel, Peru/USA/UK, 103 min.
“A strikingly present documentary…told with the page-turning velocity of an airport paperback.” — David Ehrlich, IndieWire
A charismatic hero, a hissable villain, and a suspenseful underdog battle would seem to be the stuff of fiction, but it’s all true in this compelling documentary account of the 2009 clash between indigenous Peruvian people fighting to protect their ancestral lands and government officials eager to exploit them. The political elite of Peru, led by arrogant President Alan García, consider the Amazonian natives to be savages, their rain-forest homeland a waste of resources, and their dignified leader Alberto Pizango a thug. Evading U.N. and constitutional safeguards, the government opens up the Amazon to foreign logging and oil interests, leading to a tense standoff between protesters and police at an oil pipeline station. The filmmakers are at ground zero when the hammer drops, obtaining extraordinarily immediate footage of snipers firing from rooftops, police dragging casualties out of an ambulance, and Pizango narrowly escaping out a window. The struggle goes on, as the uproar escalates, the government seems to make concessions, and Pizango returns from Nicaraguan exile to face trial for sedition and murder. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)
2015, Alexandria Hammond and Ian Markiewicz, USA/Mexico, 98 min.
"A headlong dive into the world of masked superheroes and villains." — David Edelstein, New York Magazine
"An exciting film…the screen bursts with color and wild motion." — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
The rough macho pageantry and astonishing high-stakes choreography of Mexican lucha libre, or freestyle wrestling, is seen complete with the pain and loneliness behind the glitter, in this documentary with total access to the ringside action and to the stars themselves. Legends are created and rivalries go down in history in Mexico City’s famous Arena México, as warriors with names like Shocker (aka El 1000% Guapo), Blue Demon Jr., Sexy Star, and Gigante Bernard flaunt flamboyant capes and evocative costumes. They live, fight, and sometimes die in goth makeup and bizarre masks taken from Aztec tradition. Includes the last-ever interview with beloved star El Hijo del Perro Aguayo. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
2015, Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil/Uruguay, 101 min. With Juliano Cazarré, Maeve Jinkings.
"Astonishing…an intoxicating reflection on the interconnection of taste, scent, instinct and desire." — Stephen Holden, The New York Times
"The great discovery of this year’s (Toronto Film) Festival... Lyrically involving and deeply sensual, NEON BULL showcases a full-bodied artist in command of his form." — Eric Kohn, Indiewire
Earthy and carnal, mysterious and poetic, this haunting drama follows a band of itinerant Brazilian rodeo roustabouts hauling a truckload of bulls from one small-town fair to the next in the country’s desolate northeast. Galega (Jinkings), the driver and mechanic, moonlights as an exotic dancer and is a single mother to a daughter growing up too fast on the road. Raven-haired hunk Iremar (Cazarré) sews Galega’s costumes on the side, and takes love where he finds it, whether under the neon or against the slats of a bullpen. Director Mascaro (AUGUST WINDS) brings a dreamlike beauty and sense of suspended time to this evocation of a rough life of animal needs and desires. In Portuguese with English subtitles. (BS)