In February and March, our annual series co-sponsored by the UW’s Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies program presents two highly acclaimed new movies from Colombia (Birds of Passage) and Portugal (the wild Diamantino) and two vintage gems from Cuba (I Am Cuba and Vampires in Havana). Special thanks to our colleagues at UW LACIS: Alberto Vargas, Sarah Wells.

  • Fri., Feb. 8 | 7:00 PM

The filmmaking team behind the Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent returns with a much-anticipated gangster saga set in the 1970s Colombian drug trade.  Linked by marriage, rival Wayuu clans battle for control over the booming marijuana industry, tossing aside long-held customs in their avarice. The bloody collision between ancient and modern cultures plays out in an eye-popping color palette on a massive widescreen canvas.  “An absolutely extraordinary film.  Masterpiece” (Playlist).  “Practically erupts with color… the super-saturated visuals give the entire experience a heightened, hallucinatory quality, as if fellow South American director Alejandro Jodorowsky had applied his trippy sensibility to something of genuine ethnographic significance” (Variety). (MK)

  • Fri., Feb. 15 | 7:00 PM

In this offbeat animated feature, a scientist invents a potion that allows vampires to live under the rays of the sun at last. When word gets out to the bloodsuckers around the world, they fly to Cuba to gain control of the potion, leading to a battle between American and East European vampires. One of the few Cuban films to receive US distribution in the 1980s, Vampires in Havana is a clever mix of horror and political satire.

  • Fri., Feb. 22 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Three years in the making by the great Russian director Kalatozov (The Cranes Are Flying), I Am Cuba is a whirling, feverish dance through the sensuous decadence of Batista's Havana and the grinding poverty and oppression of the Cuban people. Kalatozov's astonishingly acrobatic camera glides effortlessly through scenes of bathing beauties, landless peasants and student revolutionaries. But all this cinematic bravura works to deepen the audience's understanding of the characters' emotions and situation. New 4K restoration!

  • Fri., Mar. 1 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

A hunky, idiot savant soccer star with a heart of gold, Diamantino’s gilded life comes to a screeching halt when he flubs a crucial penalty kick. The former star’s self-imposed penance is to solve the refugee crisis, but he instead becomes the target of a network of lesbian spies, evil twins, and mad scientists, all swirling around a nefarious campaign to exit the EU and “Make Portugal Great Again.” Holding a cracked funhouse mirror to contemporary Portuguese politics, Diamantino is a funny, sexy, and psychedelic delight. (MK)