20th Annual International Latino Film Festival: The Maid (2009)

The 20th Annual International Latino Film Festival will be held February 27th and 28th and March 1st, at the Mill Creek Cinema in McKinleyville from 6:00 p.m. to 10:20 p.m. This long-standing community event is a collaboration of College of the Redwoods Humanities Department and Humboldt State University’s World Languages & Cultures Department. Students and the general public are invited to view three outstanding films relating to the theme “Recent Chilean Blockbusters:” The Maid (Sebastián Silva, 2009); Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, 2013), and Neruda (Pablo Larraín, 2016). All films will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles.

The festival is free to students enrolled in SPAN/ HIST/ ES 396 and SPAN 99A courses. For all questions regarding this event, please contact the HSU Department of World Languages & Cultures at 707-826-3226. 

The special guest speaker for this year’s festival is Isabel Lipthay, who is a writer, musician, journalist and professor. Each evening, Isabel Lipthay will introduce the films and provide us with insight into the content and key social issues portrayed in the films. Following the screening, CR and HSU professors will share their impressions of the films, and together with Isabel Lipthay they will engage the audience in a panel discussion in English. For academic credit, enrolled students will write an additional paper.    

Isabel Lipthay studied journalism and voice in Chile.

During Pinochet´s dictatorship she worked as a cultural journalist for HOYRadio ChilenaLa BicicletaTelevisión Nacional, Análisis – under strict censorship.

On TV she performed musical programs and between 1976 and 1978, she directed the weekly program “Érase una vez” (Once upon a time), featuring Chilean crafts (mule drivers, miners, artisans, folk musicians).

She worked as public relations officer with the theater group “El Telón” of Juan Radrigán and with “Taller 666”, where she organized movies and festivals for music and theatre. In 1980 she was imprisoned. In 1983, she went into exile to Germany, where she still lives today.

In 1986 she founded the duo “Contraviento” with Martin Firgau, making performances of Latin American music, with Lipthay’s own poetry and pictures. The topics included subjects like 500 years of the Spanish conquest of America, Pablo Neruda, Frida Kahlo, Víctor Jara, Mercedes Sosa, the Civil War in Spain, and Violeta Parra. “Contraviento” has recorded three CDs. (www.contraviento.de).

Isabel Lipthay has published books of short stories and poetry like “Seltsame Pflanzen/Curiosas Plantas”, “Die Begegnung/Aquel Encuentro”, in Spanish and German.

Since 1983 she has been teaching Spanish for adults, visiting schools and working with theater and dance groups, translating and dubbing films, presenting movies in German cinemas, and directing seminars. She has attended international congresses in the United States, Mexico, Hungary, Chile, Germany and Italy. The Irishman Gerry Sheridan made a film about her story “El Abuelo” (The Grandfather).

In 2006 and 2008, she taught Spanish and directed two seminars of Latin American protest music at HSU, Arcata, CA. In 2008, she was a member of the Latino Film Festival with HSU and the College of the Redwoods.

In 2015, she directed a seminar of Latin American protest music at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy. She has also given many performances in different European countries, in Latin America and the United States.

From 2007 to 2013, she was a main character and organizer in the film “Following the Ninth”, directed by Kerry Candaele (trailer: www.followingtheninth.com).

In 2017, “Contraviento” organized performances about the Civil War in Spain and Violeta Parra.

The films and panelists for this year’s festival will appear in the following order:

February 27: The Maid (Sebastián Silva, 2009)

Raquel (Saavedra) has served as the maid for the Valdes family for over 23 years. She treats her employers, Pilar (Celedón) and Edmundo (Goic) with the utmost loyalty and respect. She gets along well with their teenage son, Lucas (Agustín Silva) but clashes with their headstrong daughter, Camila (García-Huidobro). When Raquel begins to suffer dizzy spells, due to an excessive use of chlorine for household cleaning, Pilar decides to hire additional maids to assist Raquel in her daily chores. The fiercely territorial Raquel resents this and engages in a series of increasingly desperate attempts to drive away maid after maid, including the younger Lucy (Loyola), in order to maintain her position in the household.

The Panelists will include keynote speaker Isabel Lipthay, Writer, Musician, Journalist and Professor; Barbara Curiel, HSU Professor of Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Gabrielle Gopinath, CR Professor of Cinema.

February 28Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, 2013)

A story set in Santiago and centered on Gloria (García), a 58-year-old, free-spirited divorcée. Her grown son and daughter have their own lives. She meets Rodolfo (Hernández), seven years her senior and a former naval officer who, like her, is seeking companionship, but he cannot give up his other relationships.

The Panelists will include keynote speaker Isabel Lipthay, Writer, Musician, Journalist and Professor; Suzanne Pazstor, HSU Professor of History; and David Holper, CR Professor of English. 

March 1: Neruda (Pablo Larraín, 2016)

Popular poet and Communist Senator Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) opposes the administration of President Gabriel González Videla and denounces his brutal anti-communist repression in a speech in the National Congress in 1948. Threatened with arrest, he goes underground. Refusing to live the life of a fugitive, he taunts the government authorities by appearing in public venues or leaving evidence of his movements. His pursuer is the fascist Chief of the Investigations Police of Chile Oscar Peluchonneau (Gael García Bernal). Eventually he takes an escape route via Argentina, having to pass through the Andes Mountains.

The Panelists will include keynote speaker Isabel Lipthay, Writer, Musician, Journalist and Professor; Lilianet Brintrup, HSU Professor of Spanish; and Nicole Bryant Lescher, CR Professor of English. 

For more information on this event, please call the Humboldt State World Languages & Cultures Department at 707-826-3226.  


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