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Filmmaker to Discuss Documentary Film at UW Monday

April 7, 2016
black and white print of man in 1800s Southwestern clothing
The search for the head of legendary Mexican outlaw Joaquin Murrieta will be the focus of a film showing April 11 and a discussion April 12 at UW. (

Peabody Award-winning filmmaker John Valadez will show and discuss his film “The Head of Joaquin Murrieta” Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium.

The documentary film tells the often disturbing story of a painful and long ignored history about the lynching of Mexican-Americans in the Southwest. Valadez focuses on the search for the remains of Joaquin Murrieta, a legendary Mexican outlaw who blazed a trail of revenge and rebellion following the theft of his land, and the rape and murder of his wife.

Valadez is convinced he finally has the head 162 years later. He embarks on a cross-country road trip through history, memory and myth to bury Murrieta’s head and finally lay to rest a dark and troubled past -- one that had chilling parallels with the filmmaker's own family.

An Emmy Award nominee, Valadez has written and directed 11 nationally broadcast documentary films for PBS and CNN over the past 18 years. While at UW, he will discuss “Carving Story out of History” Tuesday, April 12, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 109 of Ross Hall. Both of his UW appearances are free and open to the public.

More information is available by contacting the Latina/o Studies Program at (307) 766-4127.

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