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A Celebration of Culture and Art through Film

By Daniela Cejudo

In the United States, it’s not rare that English language films and television shows dominate the charts. With the sudden rise of shows such as Money Heist and Squid Games, foreign series have begun to appear in the top 10 charts. This has given way to other cultures being represented in American media, which encourages citizens to open their minds and look beyond just US television.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, a film festival took place from September 24th to October 3rd, featuring Latino creators hoping to introduce their work to the American public. The Boston Latino International Film Festival aims to use “the power of film to break stereotypes, bring cultures and communities together, and reveal the complex issues that affect the

Latinx community in the United States.”

Many different artists came together to submit their films and present them to the public. Nine films were included in the 2021 lineup, all from a variety of countries and filmmakers touching on many subjects. This festival was first established in 2001 to introduce American audiences to more accurate representations of Latin American culture and people.

The films in this year’s lineup are all stories of Latin American individuals, including aspects of their culture and showcasing the beauty of their lands. This festival strives to educate Americans on current socio-political issues which occur in Latino countries.

Missing in Brooks Country by Lisa Molomot & Jeff Bemiss uncovers the harsh realities of what occurs at the border of Mexico and Texas and how many of these migrants have gone missing. Other films such as Fruits of Labor by Emily Cohen Ibañez examine the poverty cycle in Latin America. Ibañez speaks of her own experience in regards to her family.

Besides these films inspiring important talks, some films purely celebrate the beauty of Latino culture and the joy it brings to many communities around the world. In Monica Cohen’s Dreams of Chonta, the audience is introduced to Diego Obregon, an Afro-Colombian musician. This film is filled with exciting songs of Colombian origin and introduces Americans to a new genre of music.

The Boston Latino International Film Festival is truly a great opportunity to not only educate American citizens about the current issues happening in all of these countries, but also to celebrate Latino culture and what it has to offer. All the films are wonderfully made and allow audiences to support up-and-coming filmmakers with their cutting-edge releases.

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