Reel Diversity: Film in the Hispanic World


Reel Diversity: Film in the Hispanic World

Hispanic_HeritageThis exhibition explores film as both an agent and a reflection of change in the Hispanic world. While economics has been, arguably, the predominant factor shaping film in North America, the same cannot be said for Latin America and Spain. Most Latino countries are developing countries, and film—as an agent of social cohesion and often an educational tool—takes on an importance and significance no longer seen in North America. The Western world experienced a cultural awakening in the 1960s; in Latin America, the decade saw the birth or revitalization of several national cinemas. Films by Latino filmmakers represent themes related to national identity while addressing transnational concerns. The exhibit will focus on 5 national cinemas: Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, and will also include a special section on the role and impact of Telenovelas in Latin America and around the world.
Curated by Ina Rimpau in collaboration with Ingrid Betancourt and Juan E. Cintrón.

Dates: September 15 – December 20, 2008
Time: During library hours
Location: Second Floor Gallery
Main Library
5 Washington Street


21 Days of Clemente Essay Contest
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
5 pm
Centennial Hall

Finalists from 3 Newark middle schools participating in the 21 Days of Clemente Essay Contest come together at the Newark Public Library for the final stage of the competition. Contest winners will receive scholarship awards. The program will include music and dance performances. This event is presented in partnership with the Newark Public Schools and the Puerto Rican Statewide Parade of NJ, and is part of a national campaign to permanently retire Roberto Clemente’s jersey number 21, in honor of the player’s achievements on and off the field.

Opening Reception
Thursday, September 18, 2008
6 pm
Centennial Hall

Carlos Gutiérrez, co-founder and director of Cinema Tropical, a non-profit organization dedicated to the distribution, programming, and promotion of Latin American cinema in the U.S., will be the featured speaker at the opening reception of the Library’s 2008 Hispanic Heritage Celebration and exhibition.

Mexican Films / Screening & Commentary
Saturday, September 20, 2008

Como agua para chocolate – 1 pm
Like Water for Chocolate, 1992. 105 min.
Based on the novel by Laura Esquivel. Romantic fantasy set in the early 20th century about a young couple who are forbidden to marry. The young man marries his love’s sister, who expresses her passion for him through her cooking. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Angelitos negros – 3:30 pm
Little Black Angels. 1948. 100 min.
This film is one of the gems of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Ana Luisa and José Carlos, both white, give birth to a black child. Ana Luisa rejects the little girl who ends up suffering the injustice and pain of racism. But Ana Luisa doesn’t know that her own maid who is also black hides a secret that will change her life. One of Pedro Infante’s best-known films. In Spanish.

Puerto Rican Films / Screening & Commentary
Saturday, September 27, 2008

La gran fiesta – 1 pm
The Grand Ball, 1987. 101 min.
La Gran Fiesta was the first feature-length film to be produced by the Puerto Rican film industry. In 1942, Casino de Puerto Rico, a lavish San Juan nightspot, is about to be turned over to the US Army as a recreational center. To celebrate their last night as a “civilian” nighterie, the staff members of the Casino stage one final all-stops-out Grand Ball. Everyone is invited, even those “undesirables” who would normally be shut out of the black-tie establishment.. In Spanish with some English dialogue.

La guagua aérea – 3:30 pm
The Flying Bus: A Flight of Hope. 1995. 80 min.
Based on the short story La guagua aérea by Luis Rafael Sánchez. A comedy depicting a group of Puerto Rican immigrants taking the notorious midnight flight from San Juan to New York City in 1960. In Spanish with some English dialogue.

Panel Discussion & Film Screening
Saturday, October 4, 2008
2 pm

Emerging Latino Filmmakers
Five Latino and Latina filmmakers currently producing features and documentaries in the United States share how their projects were inspired, created and developed. Selections from the panelists’ films will be screened. Includes a question and answer session.

Panelists: Sonia González-Martínez, Betty García, Edwin Pagán, Adel Morales and Francisco Bello
Moderator: Louis E. Perego Moreno, President, Skyline Features

Click here for bios.

female_dancer_in_white_dress_and_drummer City of Newark’s
Latino Family Festival

Sunday, October 5, 2008
11 am – 6 pm
Bloomfield Avenue, Newark

(between Lake Street and Mt. Prospect Avenue)

The Newark Public Library presents bomba y plena—percussion-driven, African-rooted traditional music and dance forms of Puerto Rico. Featured group: Segunda Quimbamba

Cuban Films / Screening & Commentary
Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fresa y chocolate – 1 pm
Strawberry and Chocolate, 1993. 104 min.
A chance encounter over ice cream between a middle-aged gay man and a young, fervent believer in contemporary Cuban Marxism sets the stage for a funny but serious film about difference and acceptance. Fresa y Chocolate swept all the top awards at the 1993 New Latin American Film Festival in Havana, won critical and popular acclaim at festivals from Berlin to Telluride, and was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1995. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Memorias del subdesarollo – 3:30 pm
Memories of Underdevelopment. 1968. 97 min.
Based on the novel of the same name by Edmundo Desnoes, this film chronicles the life of a middle-class intellectual caught in the midst of the rapidly changing social reality of revolutionary Cuba. Sergio is a landlord and writer who remained behind when his wife, family and friends, whom he ridicules, leave for Miami. But he is unable to commit himself to the revolution and remains a skeptical observer. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Spanish Films / Screening & Commentary
Saturday, October 25, 2008

Volver – 1 pm
Coming Back, 2007. 121 min.
Apparitions are made flesh and blood in Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film, a dynamic blend of hilarity and drama. Irene returns from the afterlife to reconcile with her estranged daughter Raimunda. But by the time Irene shows up in the trunk of her other daughter’s car, Raimunda, who lives in Madrid with her teenaged daughter Paula and her perennially drunk husband Paco, has bigger things to worry about. In Spanish with English subtitles.

El espíritu de la colmena – 3:30 pm
The Spirit of the Beehive. 1973. 95 min.
In a small Castilian village in the early 1940s, as echoes of the Spanish Civil War can still be heard throughout the countryside, six-year-old Ana is introduced to an alternate world of myth and imagination when she attends a town-hall showing of Frankenstein, an experience that forever alters young Ana’s perception of the world around her. In Spanish with English subtitles.

man_in_suit Mondongo Scam
Saturday, November 1, 2008
2 pm
Centennial Hall

Written and performed by acclaimed Dominican artist Claudio Mir, Mondongo Scam is a solo theater piece that shatters stereotypes of all kinds. It is a humorous and insightful examination of the lives of so many immigrants living and working in the United States and their struggles for survival. The action takes place in a courtroom where Casiano Tapia, an undocumented Latino worker, is on trial for using social security cards and other documents of deceased U.S. citizens. Yet, the perspective shifts from the past to the present—interweaving various nationalities, genres, places and ages—as he is possessed by the spirits of the dead whose papers he has stolen.

Argentinian Films / Screening & Commentary
Saturday, November 15, 2008

Camila – 1 pm
1984. 105 min.
An engaging drama of both political and romantic clout, this Oscar-nominated film directed by Maria Luisa Bemberg recounts the true story of a young Catholic socialite from Buenos Aires, Camila O’Gorman, who falls in love and runs away with a young Jesuit priest, Ladislao Gutiérrez, in 1847. Camila had the courage to defy the paternalistic order of family, church and state in 19th Century Argentina. Although the historical facts were well known to Argentineans, government censorship prohibited the filming of this story until 1982. In Spanish with English subtitles.

La historia oficial – 3:30 pm
The Official Story. 1985. 110 min.
In the mid-70’s, Argentina’s military dictatorship carried out a brutal campaign of torture and murder against thousands of its own citizens. Set in 1980’s Argentina, the film follows the sheltered wife of a wealthy businessman who finds herself face to face with a legacy of terror as she begins to discover that her own daughter, adopted at birth, may have been stolen from a family of ‘los desaparacidos’ (the disappeared ones). Directed by Luis Puenzo. Starring Norma Aleandro, Hector Alterio, and Amalia Castro. In Spanish with English subtitles.

book_cover Cuentos: Stories From Puerto Rico
NJHRIC Networking Event/Book Presentation
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
5:30 pm
Centennial Hall


The Support Network of the NJHRIC @ the Newark Public Library host a networking reception featuring the presentation of the book Cuentos: Stories From Puerto Rico, edited by Kal Wagenheim. “Cuentos is a bilingual anthology of twelve short stories by six of Puerto Rico’s leading writers. Themes vary in time from the 16th century Spanish conquest to the migration of Puerto Ricans to the United States; in mood from the black humor of Emilio Díaz Valcárcel’s “Grandma’s Wake” to the poignancy of José Luis González’s “There’s A Little Colored Boy in the Bottom of the Water”; and in style from the baroque of Emilio Belaval’s “Spectralia” to the spare, tough prose of Pedro Juan Soto’s “The Champ.” Each story is published in both English and the original Spanish. Sometimes sad, and sometimes hilariously comic, these stories are in many respects an authentic voice of the Puerto Rican people.” —Originally published by Schocken Books. Reissued by Markus Wiener of Princeton, New Jersey.

NJ Teens Making Films
Saturday, November 22, 2008
2 pm

Screening of short films and public service announcements written and produced by teens participating in Aspira’s Youth Filmmaking Academy and La Casa de Don Pedro’s Youth Program. The young filmmakers will introduce their films and participate in a question and answer session at the end of the program. Special presentation of Amina: Life Through the Eyes of a Young Muslim, a documentary short produced by SarahJane Pattwell, and featured in NJN’s Images/Imágenes Show last year. This event is being developed in partnership with Aspira of NJ and La Casa de Don Pedro.

Rutgers-Newark’s Latino/a Arts Festival

The Newark Public Library is a co-sponsor of Rutgers-Newark’s Latino/a Arts Festival, “Before and Beyond Spain: Celebrating the Indigenous and African Herencias of Latino/a Culture.”

The festival incorporates several different events, all taking place at Rutgers-Newark. Admission is free.

From Mambo to Hip Hop
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
2:30 – 4:30 pm
313 Bradley Hall
110 Warren Street
Newark, NJ

A screening and discussion of Henry Chalfant’s documentary film From Mambo to Hip Hop with Bronx native and artistic director, Elena Rivera.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Rutgers-Newark, Samuels Plaza
2:30 – 6:00 pm

Headline performers include the artistic director of Cuauhpatlanini, Jorge Baltazar Ramírez, of Cuetzalán, Mexico; the Mexica dance circle, Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl; Nuyorican poet and performer Caridad de la Luz a.k.a. La Bruja; and the popular New York Puerto Rican music and dance group YerbaBuena.

For more information about these events at Rutgers-Newark, please contact:
Laura Lomas at or (973) 353-5279 x519
Luz M. Costa at

The Library’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

Discover_Jersey_Arts NJ_State_Council_on_the_Arts

All programs are free and open to the general public.
For more information call 973-733-7772.