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Fayette film festival features “Dictators and Dollars” in early December

11/20/2009 —
“Dictators and Dollars: Latin American Films of Social Justice” is the theme for the seventh annual film festival at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus in early December. The festival will feature four films, each of which pertain to a different country, yet share the common theme of political oppression. The films include: “The Official Story,” “Fall of Fujimoro,” “Bread and Roses” and “The Agronomist.” Free and open to the public, each film will begin at 6 p.m. in Swimmer Hall in the Williams Building.

The film festival kicks off with “The Official Story” (1985) on Dec. 1. This Academy Award-winner focuses on an Argentinian teacher who suspects her adopted daughter may have been the child of a murdered political prisoner.

The second film, “Fall of Fujimo” (2005), will be featured on Dec. 3. This award-winning film documents the story of Alberto Fujimoro, president of Peru in the 1990s, whose use of strong-arm tactics to combat terrorism eventually led to his downfall.

“Bread and Roses” (2000) will be shown on Dec. 8. Directed by Ken Loach and starring Adrien Brody and Pilar Padilla, this film is the story of an organizer’s attempt to unionize Los Angeles Hispanic office janitors and the ruthless corporate opposition they face.

The film festival will conclude on Dec. 10 with “The Agronomist” (2003) by Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme. It tells the story of Haitian journalist, radio owner and national hero Jean Dominique, who fought for decades against his country’s repressive governments and who was eventually assassinated himself.

Penn State Fayette’s head librarian John Riddle explains, “Latin America and the Caribbean have been especially susceptible to political, social and economic instability in their history and three of the films—‘Fall of Fujimoro,’ ‘The Official Story’ and ‘The Agronomist’—show how everyday lives are impacted, often tragically, through dictatorial regimes.”

Riddle adds, “We have balanced fictional films with two documentaries to showcase how varied film styles and genres can explore questions of social justice.”

The festival is being co-hosted by Dr. Jerry Hoeg, professor of Spanish at Penn State Fayette, and Riddle.
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