In February and March our annual series co-sponsored by the UW’s department of Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies will present two of the most exciting and urgent new works to emerge from a new wave of Mexican filmmakers. Diego Quemada-Díez’s award-winning Golden Dream hits home with its riveting tale of undocumented immigrants in search of a better life, and Rodrigo Plá’s The Monster with a Thousand Heads is a taut thriller that examines Mexican citizens’ access to healthcare. These contemporary offerings will be complemented by two recently restored classic Mexican films noir: Another Dawn (1943) and In the Palm of Your Hand (1951). Special thanks to LACIS (Alberto Vargas & Sarah Ripp) and FILMOTECA UNAM (José Manuel García & Ignacio Molina).

  • Fri., Feb. 26 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

A trio of Guatemalan teens traverse 1,200 miles through Mexico, often perched atop a lumbering freight train, to reach the promised land of the United States.  The scenery is idyllic, but the journey, on both sides of the border, is treacherous. First-time director Quemada-Diez honed his eye for striking imagery as a camera operator for Alejandro González Iñárritu, Spike Lee, and Ken Loach.  This humanistic and valuable portrait of the lengths undocumented immigrants go in search of a better life won nine Ariel Awards (the Mexican Oscar equivalent), including Best Film.

  • Fri., Mar. 4 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Denied insurance coverage for her terminally ill husband’s treatment, a desperate woman takes his fate into her own hands.  Armed with his medical paperwork and a loaded pistol, she takes his doctor hostage and instigates a tense standoff at the insurance office.  Director Plá’s righteous howl of indignation will resonate with anyone who’s ever felt trapped by the byzantine corporations that control the public’s access to healthcare – this taut thriller is truly a matter of life and death. (MK)

  • Fri., Mar. 11 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

An unhappily married woman (Palma) runs into an old flame (veteran actor Armendáriz) who is now a union activist on the run from a corrupt politician. Searching for excitement, she descends into the Mexican underworld in order to help him. This melodramatic and thoroughly entertaining film noir is greatly aided by the black and white imagery of legendary cinematographer Gabiel Figueroa. Screening courtesy Filmoteca UNAM. Special thanks to José Manuel Garcia and Ignacio Molina.

  • Fri., Mar. 11 | 9:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This terrific Mexican film noir bears some similarity to the Hollywood noir classic Nightmare Alley (1947). de Córdova plays a shady fortune teller who uses the secrets of his female clientele to blackmail them, while at the same time he is a pawn in the higher game being played by a treacherous widow (Palma). Screening courtesy Filmoteca UNAM. Special thanks to José Manuel Garcia and Ignacio Molina.