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Latino Film Festival begins Tuesday

April 8, 2013

Sins of My FatherNIU’s third annual Latino Film Festival returns Tuesday, April 9, and continues through Thursday, April 18. This year’s festival will focus on drugs and politics in Latin America.

First on the docket is the award-winning documentary “Pecados de Mi Padre,” which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Cavan Auditorium of Graham Hall.

“Pecados de Mi Padre” (Sins of My Father) will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles (94 minutes). “Sins of My Father” is a 2009 Argentine documentary film directed by Nicolas Entel. It tells the story of the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar from the inside perspective of his son, now living in Argentina under the name Sebastián Marroquín.

“Tropa de Elite” (Elite Squad) is in Portuguese with English subtitles (120 minutes) and will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in the Douglas Smart Classroom 30.

The film is a semi-fictional account of the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE), the Special Police Operations Squad of the Rio de Janeiro Military Police, analogous to U.S. SWAT teams. It is the second feature film and first fiction film of Padilha, who had previously directed the documentary “Bus 174.” The script was written by Bráulio Mantovani, based on the book Elite da Tropa by sociologist Luiz Eduardo Soares and two former BOPE captains, André Batista and Rodrigo Pimentel.

“Maria Full of Grace,” is in Spanish with English subtitles (101 minutes) and will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, in the Cavan Auditorium.

Maria Full of GraceThe film features Catalina Sandino Moreno, who plays Maria Alvarez, a teenager living in Bogotá, Colombia. Along with most of the other able-bodied people in her community, she works a perilous job in a flower plantation. She wants to quit, but her large family depends on her meager salary.

One day, Maria meets a smooth-talking young man named Franklin. He offers her a business proposition to make some money and travel. However, the task involves her acting as a drug mule and smuggling heroin into the United States.

“City of God,” in Portuguese with English subtitles (130 minutes), will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in Cole Hall.

Fernando Meirelles’ “City of God” is a sweeping tale of how crime affects the poor population of Rio de Janeiro. Though the narrative skips around in time, the main focus is on Cabeleira who formed a gang called the Tender Trio. He and his best friend, Bené (Phelipe Haagensen), become crime lords over the course of a decade.

When Bené is killed before he can retire, Lil’ Zé attempts to take out his arch enemy, Sandro Cenoura (Matheus Nachtergaele). But Sandro and a young gangster named Mane form an alliance and begin a gang war with Lil’ Zé. Amateur photographer Buscape (Alexandre Rodrigues) takes pictures of the brutal crime war, making their story famous.

The festival will conclude at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18, with “Miss Bala.” This film will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles (113 minutes) in Cole Hall.

Stephanie Sigman plays Laura, a 23-year-old daughter of a Tijuana clothing merchant who enters the Miss Baja California beauty pageant, but upon meeting Lino, a drug-trafficker, gets involved in a spiraling narco-drama in which Lino uses her as a decoy for his criminal dealings. The film is based loosely on actual events.

This year’s festival is funded by the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies, the Department of Sociology, Foreign Language Residential Program / International House and Women’s Studies. Student sponsors are Mujer a Mujer, Women’s Rights Alliance, SoL and DREAM Action NIU.

For more information, call (815) 753-1531 or email [email protected].