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Four Movies Scheduled for Spring UW Latina/o Film Series

January 14, 2016

Four different films that delve into generations of Latino culture will be shown this spring semester during the University of Wyoming Latina/o Film Series.

Each of the four free public films will be followed by a discussion, moderated by at least one faculty member from the UW Latina/o Studies Program, which sponsors the spring event.

“This is a great opportunity to become involved with our program and meet new members of the community as well as our faculty,” says Cecilia Aragon, UW Latina/o Studies Program director.

The second annual Latina/o Film Series begins Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. with the 1954 film “Salt of the Earth.” Vanessa Fonseca, assistant professor of Latina/o Studies and English, and Scott Henkel, English assistant professor, will be the moderators.

All four films are tentatively scheduled to be shown in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center. Exact locations will be announced later this semester.

Written by Michael Wilson, “Salt of the Earth” is an American drama and one of the first films to advance the feminist social and political point of view. The plot centers on the long and difficult 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, N.M.

The film shows how the miners, the company and the police react during the strike. In neorealist style, the film’s producers and director used actual miners and their families as actors in the production.

A pregnant Colombian teenager becomes a drug mule to make some desperately needed money for her family in “Maria Full of Grace,” to be shown Thursday, March 31, at 7 p.m.

Written and directed by Joshua Marston, this 2004 drama centers on bright, spirited 17-year-old Maria Alvarez, who lives in a cramped house in rural Colombia. She works stripping thorns in a rose plantation. Far from the uneventful trip she is promised, Maria is transported into the risky and ruthless world of international drug trafficking. Her mission becomes one of determination and survival.

Robert Perea will moderate the discussion.

Joaquin Murrieta, known as the Mexican Robin Hood or the Robin Hood of El Dorado, is the subject of “The Head of Joaquin Murrieta,” scheduled Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m.

Murrieta was a famous figure during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. Depending on the point of view, he was considered as either an infamous bandit or a Mexican patriot. The documentary, written by John Valadez, focuses on the search of Murrieta’s remains, whose head, according to legend, was placed in a jar.

Valadez, 162 years later, is convinced that he found the remains and embarks on a cross-country road trip through history, memory and myth to bury the head of Murrieta, and to finally lay to rest a dark and troubled past.

American Studies Assistant Professor Lilia Soto and Valadez will moderate the discussion after the film’s showing.

The final film in the series, “Quinceanera,” is scheduled Friday, April 22, at 7 p.m. A quinceanera is a formal celebration of a girl's 15th birthday. UW MEChA student Jesse Garcia is the moderator.

This 2006 American independent drama is written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Set in Echo Park in Los Angeles, the film follows the lives of two young Mexican American cousins who become estranged from their families -- Magdalena, because of her unwed teenage pregnancy, and Carlos, because of his homosexuality. Magdalena is kicked out of her house before her quinceanera. The two are taken in by their elderly great-uncle.

For more information about the film series, contact Aragon at (307) 766-2164 or email

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