During the second annual Cine Magnífico Latino Film Festival, we will all be presented with and reminded of images, sounds and textures of Latin America. But, in the process, we will also be presented with conflicts that are central to all forms of art and human experience.
“Bad Hair”, “The Golden Dream”, “Anina” and “School Days” are just a few examples of how this year’s films take on the conflicts of youth and coming-of-age. “The Lock Charmer”, “My Straight Son” and “Spanish Affair” showcase the power of love and romance to transcend culture and political boundaries.
This cultural-political entity that we call Latin America is infinitely diverse, and the wide variety of settings and characters employed in this year’s film line up serves as a testament to that diversity. That being said, however, there is certainly a sense of what it means to be Latino or Latino American, especially here in the U.S. where cultural lines often become blurry and personal identities difficult to define. In this way, our collective experience at this year’s Latino Film Festival will not necessarily be centered around defining what makes a film a Latino film, or even in the broader sense, what makes a person or a community Latino.
Rather, Cine Magnífico Latino Film festival, supported in conjunction with Instituto Cervantes, the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the Latin American & Iberian Institute, is a festival that celebrates art and humanity. While the film lineup is, in part, affected by political boundaries that define what is Latin America, the cultural boundaries that all of us experience on a daily basis are far more fluid than national borders, and rather than centering around nationality or even language, which can serve as agents of division, art and culture are often centered around universal emotions and desires that bind us together.
Rebecca L. Avitia, Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, beautifully remarked for our blog that “film has the unique ability to transcend the boundaries of culture and language and show that we all have common experiences,” adding that “this year’s extraordinary lineup of films is further proof of that.” We look forward to this year’s Cine Magnífico Latino Film Festival to be a community spectacle in all senses of the term: a place where people convene to enjoy film, together.