Spotlight on Mexico With Filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes:
Colonization, Borders & Migration’
A Brooklyn Film Festival Exchange event co-presented with Cinema Tropical.
$10 ticket price
7:10pm 5 minute intro
7:20pm screening, (approximately 101 minutes total material), 5 minutes for brief intro between feature and second part.
Filmmaker in attendance for Q&A along with special guests.
Works to be presented:
Lupe Under the Sun / Lupe bajo el sol (78 min., 2016) Winner Best Film and Best Narrative Feature, Brooklyn film fest.
Lupe Under the Sun is a neorealist film following an aging migrant worker living in California, who longs to return to Mexico before it is too late. Featuring a cast of nonprofessional actors, real farmworkers and authentic locations, Lupe Under the Sun tackles issues of depression, homesickness and the immigrant myth of the American Dream. Long estranged from his family in Michoacán, migrant laborer Lupe finds relief from the backbreaking work of harvesting peaches in California’s Central Valley through camaraderie and a quiet love affair with fellow immigrant Gloria. Soon the stability of his daily routine begins to crack under the weight of a life scarred with regret and missed opportunities. Filmed in a classic neorealist style, director Rodrigo Reyes’s deeply moving debut fiction feature, inspired by the life of his own grandfather, is at once an intimately drawn meditation on life’s missed chances and a tale of the universal struggles of immigrants. Winner of Film Independent’s Canon Filmmaker Award, Reyes’s unforgettable film heralds the arrival of an important new voice in American cinema.
Sansón an Me (feature film in progress, 12 min. teaser)
Director Rodrigo Reyes works as a Spanish Criminal Interpreter. After befriending one of his clients, a young Latino defendant during a gang-related murder trial, Rodrigo uses this unique connection to craft a heartbreaking, multi-layered story about how the failures of immigration and opportunity intersect with the prison pipeline.
499 Years (feature film in progress, 8 min. teaser)
2019 marks five centuries since Cortez first set foot in the Aztec Empire. The film retraces the route of the Spanish from Veracruz to Mexico City, weaving the story of a fictional, quixotic Conquistador with the poignant stories of everyday people grappling with a wave of brutal violence that is part-and-parcel of Mexico’s colonial legacy.
Purgatorio (2013 trailer 3 min. of feature length film)
Reyes’ provocative essay film re-imagines the Mexico/U.S. border as a mythical place comparable to Dante’s purgatory. Leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell.
Rodrigo Reyes is an award-winning, Mexican-American filmmaker whose films Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border and Lupe Under the Sun have screened in festivals around the world, such as the BFI London Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival and Documentary Fortnight at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as being selected as a Season Premiere for America ReFramed. His work has garnered rave reviews in the New York Times, Variety and other media outlets, as well as multiple awards, including a Special Jury Award at the LA Film Festival. Named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine, he is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow at MacDowell Colony and a recipient of the National Mediamaker Fellowship from the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC). His work has received the support of Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, California Humanities Council Film Independent, Pacific Pioneer Fund, IFP Narrative and Documentary Labs, and the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE). He also works in Oakland as a Spanish language court interpreter in criminal and civil proceedings.