The other film has everything and nothing to do with Latin America.
The 1966 movie , directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, takes place in North Africa and depicts the Algerian War against French colonial rule.
These visits have taken place within the context of a larger project here at the university; we have channeled an energetic focus on building resources and interest in Ibero-American cinema at Harvard into an Ibero-American film committee which I lead together with Brad Epps, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Chair of the Committee on Degrees for Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality here at Harvard.
Many of the authors here in this issue—among them, Humberto Delgado, Daniel Aguirre, Clemence Joüet-Pastre, and Bruno Carvalho—are members of the committee and tireless promoters of film at Harvard.
The next will be “cinema as history; history as cinema,” tentatively scheduled at Harvard University in November 2009.
The aim of the symposia is as simple as it is complex: to bring together critics, historians, filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, actors and others who share an interest in and/or commitment to cinematic production in Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean in order to interrogate, as openly and dialogically as possible, the promises and pitfalls of a trans-Atlantic, Ibero-American rubric in which Spanish and Portuguese, rather than English or French, would be the primary tongues.
So I was kind of surprised when I had relative difficulty getting people to write short blurbs about their favorite film—essays you will find scattered throughout this issue. It included films that make us see Latin America in a different light, even if they are not Latin American or about Latin America.
Of course, people are busy, but the reaction seemed to extend beyond the fact of hectic lives. In the process of developing this issue on film, we—myself and my guiding lights Harvard Film Archive Director Haden Guest and Harvard Romance Languages and Literatures Professor Brad Epps—had decided to limit the issue to film in Latin America, rather than including film from Spain and Latino films (a good excuse for another film issue! And I realized that the two most important films for me in that sense fell into that category.
Indeed, this entire issue of —not just the personal blurbs about film—has been an exercise in limitation.
Interest in Latin American cinema has been building for quite some time at Harvard University, as I discovered when I arrived here as Director of the Harvard Film Archive just about three years ago.
It is particularly rewarding to include several pieces by up and coming scholars and historians of Latin American cinema from Harvard such as Humberto Delgado alongside the work of long-established and influential observers of Latin American film from the Harvard community such as Nicolau Sevcenko and visiting professor in Romance Languages and Literatures Gonzalo Aguilar.
So in a sense this issue of Re Vista represents not a retrospective nor a conclusion, but the beginning of a dialogue.
By Brad Epps Recent film trends in Latin America and beyond cannot be understood without examining new technologies and their impact on new narrative forms.
In the words of Paranaguá: “Latin American cinema does not exist as a platform of production: the space in which virtually all projects are generated is purely national, at times even local, though there are transnational currents and continental strategies dating from at least the beginning of cinematic sound, if not before” (15).