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Films and Documentaries
The Latino Americans (Six Part PBS Documentary Series)This is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have for the past 500-plus years helped shape what is today the United States and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. The series chronicles Latinos in the United States from the 1500's to present day. It is a story of people, politics, and culture, intersecting with much that is central to the history of the United States while also going to places where standard U.S. histories do not tend to tread. Latino Americans relies on historical accounts and personal experiences to vividly tell the stories of early settlement, conquest and immigration; of tradition and reinvention; and of anguish and celebration, from the millions of people who come to the U.S. from Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, and countries in Central and South America. The programs are driven by the human dramas of individuals' struggles and triumphs, successes and disappointments, featuring interviews with close to 100 Latinos from the worlds of politics, business, military, academia, literature, and pop culture, as well as deeply personal portraits of Latinos who lived through key chapters in American history. LATINO AMERICANS is the story of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects and empowers millions of people today.
A Class Apart (PBS)In the 1954 legal case Hernandez v. Texas, defense lawyers forged a daring strategy—one arguing that Mexican-Americans did not fit into a legal structure which recognized only white and black racial categories. This American Experience episode interweaves the story of that landmark case, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, with the broader narrative of the civil rights movement. Viewers will learn about the heroic post-World War II struggle of Mexican-Americans fighting to dismantle Jim Crow-style discrimination targeted against them. Distributed by PBS Distribution. (60 minutes)
Building the American DreamAcross Texas, an unstoppable construction boom drives urban sprawl and luxury high-rises. Its dirty secret: abuse of immigrant labor. BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM captures a turning point as a movement forms to fight widespread construction industry injustices. Grieving their son, a Mexican family campaigns for a life-and-death safety ordinance. A Salvadorian electrician couple owed thousands in back pay fights for their children’s future. A bereaved son battles to protect others from his family's preventable tragedy. A story of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals shocking truths about the hardworking immigrants who build the American Dream, from which they are excluded. A través de Texas, un auge de la construcción imparable impulsa la expansión urbana y los rascacielos de lujo. Su sucio secreto: abusó de trabajo inmigrante. CONSTRUYENDO EL SUEÑO AMERICANO captura un punto de inflexión a medida que se forma un movimiento para combatir las injusticias generalizadas de la industria de la construcción. Afligido a su hijo, una familia mexicana hace campaña por una ordenanza de seguridad de vida o muerte. Una pareja de electricistas salvadoreños debían miles en pago de atrasos salariales, luchan por el futuro de sus hijos. Un hijo afligido lucha para proteger a otros de la tragedia prevenible de su familia. Una historia de coraje, resiliencia y comunidad, la película revela verdades impactantes sobre los inmigrantes trabajadores que construyen el sueño americano, del cual están excluidos.
Isabel Allende: ReflectionsChilean novelist Isabel Allende has sold 15 million books in 30 languages over the past two decades. Few living writers receive the critical acclaim, popular following, and consistent sales records that she has enjoyed since the publication of her first novel, The House of the Spirits, in 1982. And yet her own story of exile after the rise of the dictator Pinochet is perhaps the most well-known aspect of her life and career. Profiling the author in Chile’s capital, Santiago, this extended interview explores her relationship with her homeland, the effects of her upbringing and exile on her writing, her feelings about the Pinochet years in Chile, and how she finds it impossible to tell a story without embellishing the truth. (51 minutes)
Velasquez: ImpactFor decades, Latinos had no political power. William (Willie) Velazquez founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, creating "The Sleeping Giant." Experts discuss the social activist's impact on American politics. Distributed by PBS
Voces de FillmoreThis documentary traces the memories and experiences of families living on one block located in South Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighborhood that is affectionately known by long time residents as Southside or Los Sures. In the past decade, Southside’ Latinx and working class population has steadily decreased from seventy to forty-five percent, in part due to gentrification in New York City. In this film, Puerto Rican families who have lived and raised children in Los Sures for several decades talk about their quest to preserve a sense of community in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Release Date 2015
Evelyn Cisneros (In Dance On with Billie Mahoney)In this episode of Dance On| Billie Mahoney interviews Evelyn Cisneros| the first prima ballerina of Hispanic descent| and lead dancer at the San Francisco Ballet for nearly two decades. Release Date 2015
Relatos salvajes (Wild Tales)WILD TALES is a fresco of rage, fury, deception and revenge. Made up of six stories, it is an entertaining and jaw-dropping film about people crossing the line into madness when faced with perceived injustice. A lover's betrayal, a return to the repressed past, and the violence woven into everyday encounters drive the characters to lose control and cross the line that divides civilization and barbarism.