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Icarus Film
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Films & DVDs for Latin American Studies  Text Size Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size
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    A

  • Agustín's Newspaper - Journalism students at the University of Chile embark on an investigation of El Mercurio, the oldest newspaper in Chile.

  • Alabbá - An exploration of the fascinating history of Santería.

  • Alonso's Dream - A contemplative and critical look at the impact the Zapatista uprising and paramilitary violence have had on the Mayan people.

  • Americas in Transition - A concise and fast-paced history of the volatile forces at work in Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua in the 1980s

  • Awakening from Sorrow: Buenos Aires 1997 - Documents the power to transform pain into action and to lift the veil of repression that has gripped a generation of young people orphaned by Argentina's 'Dirty War.'

  • B

  • The Battle of Chile - The epic chronicle of Chile's open and peaceful socialist revolution, and of the violent counter-revolution against it in 1973, now on a special edition 4-DVD set.

  • A Better Life - Returning to Todos Santos after 30 years, a look at the profound economic and social changes that have transformed this Guatemalan Mayan village.

  • Between Midnight and the Rooster's Crow - Traveling along the cross-Andes route of an oil pipeline in Ecuador, a case study of the troubling connections between corporations, Western consumption, and the 3rd World.

  • Beyond My Grandfather Allende - Director Marcia Tambutti Allende seeks to understand the man behind the legend that was her grandfather, Salvador Allende. (new December, 2015)

  • Black Water - Industrial pollution in a small Brazilian fishing village.

  • C

  • Café - This intimate documentary follows an indigenous Mexican family through one critical year of life (new May, 2015)

  • Can't Do It In Europe - Some people travel to Bolivia to go down the dangerous silver mines, to see the medieval work conditions. Are they crawling through the contaminated tunnels to learn about a foreign culture, or to escape boredom?

  • Chicago Boys - After the coup in 1973, Chile was turned into a laboratory for the world's most radical neo-liberal experiment. (new July, 2016)

  • Chile, Obstinate Memory - Patricio Guzmán's landmark film The Battle of Chile (1976) documented the "Popular Unity" period of Salvador Allende's government, the tumultuous events leading up to the 1973 coup, and Allende's death. Guzm&a

  • Choropampa - When a devastating mercury spill by the world's richest gold mining corporation hits a quiet peasant village in the Peruvian Andes, a courageous young mayor emerges to lead his people on a quest for healthcare and justice.

  • Cinema Novo - An intricately edited documentary composed of film clips from the major works of the Brazilian "Cinema Novo" movement and period interviews with its leading filmmakers. (new January, 2017)

  • The Comrade - The story of Luiz Carlos Prestes, legendary leader of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) for over 35 years, who died in 1990.

  • Cuban Animations from the Young Directors Film Festival - Eight animated shorts from the most important showcase for young cinematic talent in Cuba

  • Código Color, Memorias - An exploration of racism and skin color in Cuba during the 1950s. (new July, 2016)

  • D

  • Death Squadrons - The previously untold story of how the French military trained Latin American death squads in the 60s and 70s (and even U.S. Special Forces in the early days of our Vietnam War).

  • Denial - A long overdue investigation into the 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador, and the Reagan administration's cover-up of it.

  • Devils Don't Dream! - Analysis of the CIA-sponsored 1954 coup in Guatemala.

  • Don't Threaten Me

  • E

  • El Dia Que Me Quieras - A haunting meditation on the last picture taken of Che Guevara, as he lay dead on a table surrounded by his captors.

  • El Salvador: Another Vietnam - examines the civil war in El Salvador in light of the Reagan administration's decision to "draw the line" against "communist interference" in Central America.

  • El Sicario, Room 164 - The story of a hitman for the drug cartels, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

  • El Velador - From dusk to dawn Martin watches over the extravagant mausoleums of Mexico's most notorious Drug Lords.

  • Elena - Follows several residents in the “Elena” building, located in Central Havana, over a three-year period.

  • The Embassy - In one of Chris Marker's few fiction films, political dissidents seek refuge in a foreign embassy after a military coup d'état in an unidentified country.

  • Energy War - A global investigation into the geopolitical dynamics of the world's oil supply. How are the governments which control most of the oil wielding their power on the world stage?

  • F

  • FALN - A remarkable time capsule of Venezuelan political and social history, and valuable background to the ongoing social conflicts in that country.

  • Fernando is Back - Documents the workings of Chile's Forensic Identification Unit in its quest to reclaim the identities of those 'disappeared' and killed during the Pinochet dictatorship.

  • Fire in the Andes - Tells the story of the conflict in Peru which left over 10,000 dead or quot;disappeared." through an investigation into the killings of eight journalists.

  • First Look - The first ever U.S. exhibit of revolutionary Cuba's art.

  • Five Centuries Later - Examines the current status of Central American aboriginal civilizations, five hundred years after they were "conquered" by European invaders.

  • Flower in Otomi - Tells the story of Dení Prieto Stock, killed by the Mexican army in 1973.

  • Following One's Way - One young woman's struggle to succeed as a singer in Bogota, Colombia, in order to escape from the poor and dangerous environment in which she lives.

  • For Man Must Work - A provocative look at the future of labor in the changing global economy.

  • For These Eyes - The story of the daughter of Uruguayan activists "disappeared" by the Argentine military in the 1970s, and raised by an agent of the Argentine secret police.

  • Freddy Ilanga: Che’s Swahili Translator - A documentary about Freddy Ilanga, an African man whose life was abruptly transformed through a chance encounter with Che Guevara.

  • From The Other Side - Using technology developed for the military, the flow of illegal immigration into San Diego has been stemmed. But for the desperate, there are still the dangerous deserts of Arizona, where Chantal Akerman shifts her focus.

  • G

  • A Grin Without A Cat - Chris Marker's epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the 60's and 70's: Vietnam, Che, May '68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left.

  • Gringo Trails - A global survey of the impacts on cultures, economies, and the environment of the most powerful globalizing force of our time: tourism.

  • Guañape Sur - A barren rock island off the coast of Peru. Every eleven years hundreds of men come here, to dig up guano, the shit the birds leave behind.

  • H

  • H2Omx - Can a mega-city mobilize its 22 million citizens to become water-sustainable?

  • Hair Therapy - A Colombian filmmaker questions her friends - in their twenties like her, and caught between maintaining their independence and love, relationships, and the desire to start a family.

  • Hamburger: Jungleburger - Examines the impact of the fast food industry on Third World countries.

  • Housemaids - Seven Brazilian teenagers film their housemaids, exposing issues of class, race, and gender in their families, and in their country.

  • "Housemaids" book - A book companion to the film "Housemaids" by Gabriel Mascaro (new May, 2016)

  • The Human Zoo - The story of 25 people from four Chilean indigenous groups who in the 19th centry were exhibited as attractions across Europe.

  • I

  • Impunity - What is the cost of truth for families damaged by Colombia's violent past?

  • In the Name of the People - Four filmmakers travel with guerrillas into combat in El Salvador.

  • The Infinite Island - In this doc-fiction hybrid, a peasant journeys through the Sierra Maestra to buy a new mule.

  • The Inheritors - At early age children begin to work in the Mexican countryside. This is a portrait of theirs lives and their daily struggle for survival.

  • J

  • Justice - Takes a camera where few have been, a criminal courtroom in Rio de Janeiro, to record the social theatre, the structures of power, what is usually invisible.

  • Justice and the Generals - Investigates the human rights and legal issues involved when two Salvadoran generals are sued in an American court for atrocities (such as the murder of four American churchwomen) committed during El Salvador's civil war.

  • K

  • Killer's Paradise - Since 1999 more than two thousand women have been murdered in Guatemala. Yet law enforcement and government turn a blind eye.

  • Knorosov - The story of the decipherment of the ancient Mayan writing system, and that of the little-known Russian linguist who, almost 500 years after the codice's discovery, figured them out.

  • L

  • La Sierra - Tracing a year in the life of a neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia ruled by a paramilitary gang, this is a searing exploration of three lives defined by years of overwhelming violence.

  • Lucanamarca - In the Peruvian Andes, in the town of Lucanamarca, old wounds are re-opened when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission arrives to investigate a massacre from 20 years ago.

  • M

  • Machito - The Cuban band leader Frank "Machito" Grillo.

  • Major Leagues? - Profiles members of the Cuban National women's baseball team, who pursue their passion in a soceity filled with machismo and prejudice.

  • Masks - In the macho world of Cuban culture, Margot and Roxana stand out—they are two of the country's best-known drag queens. (new July, 2015)

  • A Massacre Foretold - Chronicles the historic events surrounding the 1997 massacre of 45 pacifist supporters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation who were massacred while seeking refuge in a church.

  • A Mayan Trilogy: Life, Death & Migration - Now on one DVD, Olivia Carrescia's three films on the Mayan Indians of Guatemala preserve a record, and provide an acute observation on how the indigenous culture has been affected by, yet survived, that country's tumultuous history.

  • Mayan Voices: American Lives - Contrasts the experiences of Mayan families who came to Indiantown, Florida as refugees fleeing the violence in Guatemala in the early 1980s, with the struggles of those continuing to arrive in search of better lives.

  • Medellin Notebooks - In one high school class in Medellin, Colombia, the students are asked to record their personal and family stories in notebooks.

  • Metal and Melancholy - Roving the city of Lima, Peru, Heddy Honigmann meets teachers, actors, professionals, civil servants and many others who have turned to taxi driving to earn enough to get by.

  • Montaña de Luz - The children of the Montaña de Luz orphanage in Honduras are HIV positive, and a living testament to the beauty and innocence of childhood. This is a stirring portrait of a loving community.

  • N

  • New Comedy Shorts from Cuba - This DVD collects two recent comedy shorts from Cuba.

  • The Night of San Lazaro - Cuba's most important parade pays homage to San Lazaro. For some, he is the healer saint, for others an African divinity.

  • Nostalgia for the Light - Director Patricio Guzmán travels to Chile’s Atacama Desert, studying traces of distant galaxies, ancient civilizations, and the remains of the disappeared.

  • O

  • Oblivion - Heddy Honigmann's latest film focuses on Peru's capital city of Lima, revealing the contrasts of wealth and poverty, and how its poorest citizens have survived decades of economic crisis and corruption.

  • 100 Children Waiting for a Train - Poetically tells the story of a group of Chilean children who discover a larger reality - and a different world - through the cinema.

  • 108 (Cuchillo de Palo) - Paraguayan director Renate Costa Perdomo investigates a gay man's persecution and murder.

  • Open Sky - When an open-pit silver mine comes to an isolated, desert community in Argentina, corporate and government interests clash with those of the local population.

  • The Other Day - Filmmaker Ignacio Agüero's gentle exploration of home, family, history and Chilean society.

  • P

  • The Passion of María Elena - Following the hit-and-run death of her son, Maria Elena, a young woman from Mexico's Raramuri community, embarks upon an eye-opening journey from grief to unexpected spiritual resolution.

  • Paulina - As a young girl in a small Mexican village Paulina was traded for land by her parents, and raped by the town boss. But today a vital, resilient woman, she returns for a visit ...

  • People Power - The first in depth look at non-violent revolutions around the world.

  • The Pinochet Case - The story of the landmark legal case against General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, before and after his arrest in London in 1998.

  • Presumed Guilty - A searing examination of the Mexican criminal justice system through the case of one man, wrongly accused of murder.

  • R

  • Rapayan - High in the Andes mountains of Peru, above a small village that scarcely seemed to notice, archaeologists have found the ruins of an indigenous settlement that predates the Incas.

  • The Real Thing

  • Refugees in Our Backyard - Investigates the impact of civil strife on Central America, and the enormous obstacles its people face as they attempt to escape into the United States.

  • Roque Dalton - It was once illegal to read books by Roque Dalton, one of El Salvador's most celebrated poets, in his own country.

  • S

  • Sacred Soil - The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation exhumes up to 1,000 bodies a year to identify them, and return the remains to their families.

  • Salvador Allende - Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile) tells Allende's story, from his youth in Valparaiso and his early career, to his presidency of Chile and death during the coup of September 11, 1973.

  • Scars of Memory - An oral history of the 1932 massacre of 10,000 El Salvadorans, a trauma that has resonated through six decades of military rule, until the 1992 peace accords ended a brutal, 12-year civil war.

  • Short Circuit - A chilling account of El Salvador's death squads, told by a former director of its intelligence agency, implicating CIA operatives and revealing cover-ups.

  • The Siege - The story of the siege of the Palace of Justice in Bogota, Colombia in 1985. 35 armed guerrillas take hundreds hostage. Almost the entire Supreme Court ends up dead.

  • Silvestre Pantaleón - The story of an elderly man from the Nahuatl-speaking village of San Agustin Oapan, Mexico.

  • Stolen Land Still
  • Stolen Land - Illustrates the decades-long often violent resistance movement of the indigenous Nasa people of Colombia over rights to their native land.

  • The Sugar Curtain - An intimate portrait by Camila Guzmán Urzúa about growing up in Cuba during the "golden years" of the Cuban Revolution.

  • Sweet Country (Dulce Patria)

  • T

  • The Take - Unemployed Argentinian workers take over their closed factories! A compelling political film, a vision of working people forging genuine alternatives to a failed economic model - a story with universal implications.

  • Tambogrande - Follows the efforts of a small Peruvian town over five years as they fight government efforts to sell the mineral rights under their homes to a multi-national mining company.

  • 10th Parallel - A voyage deep into the Amazon to explore the implications of Brazil's policy on uncontacted indigenous tribes.

  • There's No Room For So Many People - If Edgar doesn't find work by the end of the week, he and his wife will leave Bogota, Colombia and move to the coast, leaving their daughter behind. But, only after selling everything they have...

  • They Would All Be Queens - The stories of women from the Soviet Union who married Cuban men and moved to Cuba before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

  • Tierralismo - An in-depth portrait of a Cuban agricultural collective that has drawn international acclaim for its sustainable practices.

  • The Tiniest Place - The story of a small village in El Salvador, destroyed during the country's civil war, and its remarkable rebirth today.

  • Todos Santos Cuchumatan: Report from a Guatemalan Village - This film provides an intimate look at everyday life in Todos Santos, a village in Guatemala's highlands, before the violence of the 1980s.

  • Todos Santos: The Survivors - Demonstrates how the political turmoil of the 1980s affected this once quiet Guatemalan village.

  • Tracing Aleida - Thirty years after being separated when their parents "disappeared" during Mexico's "Dirty War" in the '70s, Aleida searches to uncover the truth, and to find her brother.

  • Trinkets and Beads - The oil company MAXUS and Huaroni Indians of the Amazon.

  • Tupamaros - 62-year-old Pepe Mujica, a founding member of Uruguay's Tupamaros organization and member of parliament, reflects on the groups development over the last 30 years from urban guerillas to legal political force.

  • U

  • Under Construction - In Santiago, Chile, a neighbor lives through the demolition of the house next door and the construction of a large building in the same place, over a two-year period.

  • W

  • Welcome to Colombia - Millions of displaced persons, 35,000 murders per year, a kidnapping every ten minutes ... but as Colombian filmmaker Catalina Villar traverses her country, she finds hope in people working for peaceful change.

  • Winds of Memory - Filmed over three years, WINDS OF MEMORY reveals Mayan life and culture in Guatemala today, five centuries after the "discovery" of America.

  • The World's Next Supermodel - Asia, Brazil or Western Europe - which will be the world's next economic superstar?

  • Z

  • Zone of Silence - Five Cuban intellectuals discuss censorship as a historical, political and social phenomenon.

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Last Updated February 3, 2017
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