The San Diego Latino Film Festival featured some wonderful and eye-opening films this year. I had the pleasure of seeing quite a few, here’s a rundown of some of my fave flicks.
Treintona, Soltera, Y Fantastica
The film tells the familiar story that anyone who’s been in or is in their thirties will understand, of feeling the pressure to be married, have children, and have life all figured out. The reality is never that easy or pretty. Ines (Barbara Mori), a thirty-something writer, just broke up with her boyfriend of 7 years and is now single, trying to figure out her place in the world. Having been paired up for so long, she felt as if she had lost herself, not knowing who she was or what it was that she wanted out of life. This film shows her journey and all the quirky and funny things that happen while trying to discover herself. From dating through social media, battery-operated boyfriends, and wrestling with the decisions of child-bearing. This movie not only had me laughing from beginning to end, I found it had a positive message for women and showed a female character who didn’t need a Prince charming to rescue her. In fact, she figured it all out herself!
In this collection of short films from Spain, each one had an interesting message and viewpoint on the world. One of the reasons I love short films, they show us how much can be said in just 5 minutes. One of the films called It Girl, told a poignant story of a woman who uses the internet to brand herself as an “it girl.” She garners tons of followers and free stuff from a lot of companies. The truth is, it is all a lie, she is only doing it to support her ailing boyfriend’s medical treatments. Behind the camera, they go and sell the items she gets for free for money and we see that what people choose to reveal on the internet is not always the truth.
Another film I enjoyed was El Mundo Entero, about a young gay man who visits his mother’s grave and speaks to her. The mother comes alive to him and she is a firecracker of a woman, she talks to him about his sexuality and how she came to terms with it, how she always knew he was gay, and how she wished she had done more for the gay community. In the end, we see that by just accepting him for who he is and not trying to change him, she made a world of a difference in her community. The lives of people around her changed because they saw her as a positive role model.
The documentary film, Dolores, directed by Peter Bratt, tells the enigmatic life story of Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the first farmworkers’ union alongside Cesar Chavez. The film was produced in collaboration with Carlos Santana and Benjamin Bratt, and brings to the screen the story of a woman who has almost been written out of history books. Everyone knows who Cesar Chavez was, but most do not know about the work that Huerta put into the movement. The film chronicles her life, from being a young woman, wanting to find her place in the world, to the iconic leader that she then became. At only 25, she was a young mother with several children already and was in Washington, D.C. fighting for the rights of migrant farmworkers. To say that this was her mission in life, would be an understatement.