Last Monday, Science Center Room 106 was a good place to be. At 6:30 p.m. the last movie in the Repression and Hope Spanish Language Film series played. The movie series was organized by the Language and Literature Department, which includes Spanish Instructor Adriana Rojas Campbell, Assistant Professor Don Clymer, and Instructor Carol Snell-Feikema.
The movie called “Machuca” was about two friends who not only lived through the coup in Chile but also participated in protests that supported the overthrowing of the Chile government.
Sophomore Emilie Raber said, “I really enjoyed the movie. The writers did a wonderful job of addressing the political turmoil through the friendship of two young boys. The history of Chile comes alive when you see the repercussions of the 1973 coup for the every day person of the upper class or every day person of the lower class.”
The film series began January 23rd with the first movie entitled “Even the Rain.” The second movie was shown on February 6th, and it was called “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
Campbell said she got the idea to do the film series from “a film course [she] taught last semester in which [she] focused on how film technique communicates content.” The department agreed that they needed an event “to engage the university community in dialogue about the diverse Hispanic world.”
Campbell says that “although there was a Latin American Film Festival in Harrisonburg in the fall, it was lacking diversity, context, and unity. We aspire to inform, push students to be active viewers and encourage critical thinking about significant historical events and social issues in Spain and Hispanic America.”
After each film, LSA held a talkback giving anyone who saw the movie a chance to discuss any thoughts about the movie, film series, or theme itself.
The theme of the series, Repression and Hope, was chosen to “…ex- pose students to critically acclaimed Spanish language films about social injustices taking place during dictator- ships or due to neoliberal economic politics,” said Campbell.
The series was aiming to inspire effective conversation so, after each movie different formats for invoking discussion were tried out.
For the first film the talkback Campbell gave a conference-style analysis of the film. For the last two movies a professor presented the social-historical context of the film and a panel of professors would ask the audience questions as well as provide their own analysis and interpretations.
For next year’s series, the department hopes to invite professors from other departments to be panelists and share their perspectives.