Latin American Studies hosted film festival ‘The Illusion of Abundance’

The festival presented the film “The Illusion of Abundance: Risking Their Life to Protect Our Planet” by Erika Gonzales Remirez and Matthieu Lietaert in Turner Theater.

Latin American Studies Film Festival 2023 Fall semesterThe theme of the Latin American Studies Film Festival is global peace and interculturality. The first screening took place on Sept. 12 at Turner Theater and it covered the US-Cuba political relationship through the documentary “Frenemies” (dir. Mirella Martinelli, 2020) and a virtual conversation with Natalia Fajardo, co-director of Witness for Peace’s Cuban Program.

The second screening followed the LAS festival theme focusing on racial justice and exploring indigenous rights in the Latin American world. The film featured three stories of women fighting for their rights against modern-day post-colonialism.

Maxima Acuña from Peru, Berta Cáceres from Honduras and Carolina de Moura from Brazil speak out against big corporations backed by national governments and the price of their “developments.” In the case of these three women, transnational companies are usurping their land and their highly valuable and profitable raw materials. Following the documentary, These corporations have bulldozed literally and figuratively into Latin America and have been ruining the landscape and the lives of the communities. Activists, alongside many members of these communities, have been bravely standing up for their livelihood, facing threats and assassinations, as in the case of Berta in Honduras, who was killed in 2016 for protecting indigenous rights for environmental justice.. These courageous individuals are persistent and unwavering in their fight against powerful companies and they encourage others to join in on their fight.

After the screening of the film, Dr. Juan Leal Ugalde, assistant professor of Spanish and Coordinator of Latin American Studies, moderated a Q&A session where the audience commented on the movie. Overall, the film was extremely powerful and moving and highlights the need for change in Latin America before it is too late.

The third and final film of the Latin American Studies Film Festival will be screened at Turner Theater on November 9 at 2:30 p.m. The featured film is “The Klezmer Project” or “Dentro de mí estoy bailando” by Leandro Koch and Paloma Schachmann. The film focuses on a wedding cameraman and clarinet player who falls in love at a Jewish wedding in Argentina. They then travel together to Eastern Europe in search of lost Klezmer culture after WWII. The movie was released in 2023 and have participated in prestigious international film festivals this year. All are welcome to join us for the viewing.

The LAS film festival is possible thanks to partnerships across Elon’s programs and departments. The festival is presented by Latin American Studies and the Department of World Languages and Cultures, and sponsored by Women’s Gender and Sexualities Studies, International and Global Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center, El Centro, Belk Library, Elondocs, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Elon Core Curriculum.