¡Vámanos al cine!
Cinema Tropical — a New York-based nonprofit that distributes and promotes Latin American film in the United States — will show its picks for the best movies of 2016 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District all weekend (Friday night through Sunday afternoon).
The seventh annual series will screen six features – in Spanish, Portuguese, and some Arabic with English subtitles — from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and even the United States. In some cases, the directors will be on hand to discuss their works with the audiences.
Tickets are $15 each, and here’s the schedule along with descriptions of each movie.
“Tempestad” with director Tatiana Huezo in person, Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. Cinema Tropical’s 2016 winner for Best Documentary follows two women who live in constant fear due to violence and corruption in Mexico. Adela is a circus performer who has been searching for her kidnapped daughter for over a decade. Miriam was falsely accused of smuggling and imprisoned in a jail controlled by a drug cartel.
“Jacqueline (Argentine),” Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. Cinema Tropical’s 2016 winner for Best U.S. Latino Film is a comedy about a filmmaker and his two interns who trek to Argentina after getting hysterical emails and phone calls from Jacqueline. This young French femme fatale demands that they document her “exile” for leaking an assassination plot. They arrive at her holistic center and realize that she’s paranoid. The plot thickens as they try to find something worth filming, while Jacqueline only wants to sing pop music.
“Plaza de la Soledad” with director Maya Goden in person, Saturday, Feb. 25, at 4:30 p.m. Cinema Tropical’s 2016 winner for Best Directed Documentary is a continuation of Goded’s photography exposition of a tough Mexico City neighborhood where prostitution has existed since the Aztec empire, according to legend. Four strong, aging women – Carmen, Lety, Raquel, and Esther – deal with their issues as they seek a better life.
“Santa Teresa and Other Stories” with director Nelson Carlo de los Santos in person, Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. Cinema Tropical’s 2016 winner for Best First Fiction Film explores life and violence in a fictional town on the border between Mexico and the United States. A researcher investigates crimes and abuses of women and workers.
“Bleak Street,” Sunday, Feb. 26, at 2:30 p.m. Cinema Tropical’s 2016 winner for Best Director is based on a true-but-bizarre crime in Mexico City. Shot in black and white, the feature depicts two prostitutes who mistakenly kill twin pro wrestlers in a robbery attempt gone bad.
“Neon Bull,” Sunday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. Cinema Tropical’s 2016 winner for Best Film is a look at vaquejadas or Brazilian cowboy shows. The freewheeling film takes on machismo by depicting a traveling group of performers with a rugged cowhand who likes to fashion sexy outfits for a truck-driving female stripper.
Images courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image