Our Music, More Than a Language

Nuestra Música, Más que una Lengua

Film Series 2020

Starting on March 25th, 2020.
In order to recognize the diversity of musical expressions in the region, the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston presents Our Music, More Than a Language, a selection of 16 contemporary Hispanic American films.
The inspiration of this film series is the music. Through different cinematographic proposals, we invite the public to discover the diversity of rhythms and the existing cultural heritage of the region. Extensive geography and cultural diversity are unified through a single language: music.

The film series consists of 16 films grouped into four parts:
CREATIVE WOMEN: Selection of films that recognize outstanding female creators and musical performers.
TO DANCE: Selection of films that emphasize music and dance as an expression.
MUSIC WITH STORIES: Selection of films whose main axis is a biographical story linked to music.
ORIGINAL SOUNDS: Selection of documentaries whose central theme is the music or sound of the Native peoples of the Americas.

The screenings are completely free and open to the public.
The film series runs from 25th March till 11th November, 2020, and are shown the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month @7 p.m.

Each movie includes English subtitles and free popcorn.
The Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston is located on 3315 Sul Ross St., Houston Texas.


Project Director Mariela G. Domínguez

Usually, we encourage a public discussion after each film.

CREATIVE WOMEN

Selection of films that recognize outstanding female creators and musical performers.

Elis

Elis Regina, one of the most important singers in Brazil of all time, told from her beginnings to the end of her short but intense career. Through her beautiful songs she introduces the MPB, Brazilian Popular Music, a new kind of music. A career of constant change, reinventing herself, fighting against her own fears during the military dictatorship.

Brazil, 2016
Running time: 110 min.
Direction : Hugo Prata
03/25 @7 pm

Elis Regina

Tita from Buenos Aires

Journey into the world of Argentina’s most famous musical artist in Mercedes Sosa: the voice of Latin America. Over a career that spanned 50 years, Sosa sold millions of records, performed thousands of concerts all over the world, and left behind an incredible legacy as an artist who went beyond the borders of music to become one of the most influential – and loved – personalities of the 20th century. This intimate documentary reveals Sosa’s early life and her rise to worldwide stardom, and explores the impact she had on the musical — and political — heritage of Latin America … and the world.

Argentina, 2013
Director: Rodrigo H. Vila
Running time: 1101 min.
04/08 @7 pm

Violeta Went to Heaven

“Write as you like, use the rhythms that come out, try different instruments, sit at the piano, destroy the metric, shout instead of singing, blow your guitar and play the horn. Hate mathematics, and love swirls. Creation is a bird without a flight plan, that never fly in a straight line” (Violeta Parra). Reconstruction without a timeline of the inner world of the Chilean artist Violeta Parra: the people who shaped her life, her travels, romances, dreams, frustrations, hopes and fears.

Chile, 2011
Director: Andrés Wood
Running time: 110 min.
04/22 @7 pm

Chavela

Singer Chavela Vargas gained a name for herself firstly in Mexico and later worldwide chiefly for her interpretation of traditional Rancheras. These songs were mainly composed by men and mostly speak of unfulfilled love for women, world-weariness and loneliness. Chavela performed them with her own unique feeling for rhythm and her distinctively rough and yet vulnerable voice. The unpublished material in this film, as well as the interviews with Chavela herself and her contemporaries, colleagues and partners have resulted in an affectionate portrait of a charismatic and exceptional artist – who was openly lesbian throughout her life.

US / Mexico, 2017
Director: Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi
Running time: 90 min.
05/13 @7 pm

TO DANCE

Selection of films that emphasize music and dance as an expression.

Beyond Flamenco

Original Title: Jota, de Saura
After “Sevillanas”, “Flamenco” or “Fados, Carlos Saura gets once again behind the cameras to shoot a musical documentary about la Jota, the traditional dance and folk music from his homeland: Aragon. During the shooting of “JOTA”, Carlos Saura puts forward a new journey starting from the most basic and rooted to his land’s folk singing and traditional dance, to those who anticipate the future of this powerful music; in a visual journey where the scenery and the light will be the support of the story, intending to leave a vital, historical and unique document to future generations, that serves as a memory and reference for everyone who loves music.

Spain, 2016
Running time: 90 min.
Directo: Carlos Saura
05/27 @7 pm

Miss Tacuarembó

It is the story of Natalia, a girl who grows up during the 80´s under the influence of the Venezuelan soap opera ¨Cristal¨ and the movie ¨Flashdance¨, in the distant and small city of Tacuarembó, Uruguay. Natalia discovers that being crowned Miss Tacuarembó is her only chance to leave her boring hometown behind and emigrate to a big city where she can be a star; However, her adult life singing for tourists arriving at Cristo Park, a theme park dedicated to Christ in Buenos Aires, is still far removed from what she always dreamed of.

Uruguay: 2010
Director: Martín Sastre
Running time: 92 min.
06/10 @7 pm

Aniceto

Aniceto (Hernán Piquín) is a lonely man who lives with his rooster in a small town in Mendoza. Francisca (Natalia Pelayo) is a naive girl who comes to the place in search of work. They meet and fall in love. It seems like a dream, but it ends in a nightmare when the enigmatic and irresistible Lucia (Alejandra Baldoni) appears, her new neighbor, who disturbs the man and drags him to his own destruction.

Argentina, 2008
Director: Leonardo Favio
Running time: 82 min.
06/24 @7 pm

 

Shake your sorrows

González, a prisoner with a long sentence, tells the story of Pepe Frituras, the most famous dancer in Mexico City who, on a night of revelry, would lose his freedom, ending up at the Lecumberri Palace, the most dangerous prison in the country. Through stories full of music, dance and love, he tells how Pepe Frituras became the only inmate who managed to escape from the walls, using the power of his imagination.

Mexico, 2018
Director: Andres Ibañez Diaz Infante
Running time: 90 min.
07/08 @7 pm

MUSIC WITH STORIES

Selection of films whose main axis is the biographical story linked to music.

El Benny

Arriving from Mexico where he consolidated his career at the end of the forties, Benny Moré is the artist who delights the crowds through music and dance. A wealthy politician hires him to present a show for his campaign. The wear and tear of the betrayal makes him fail in his efforts to assemble the longed-for jazz band and breaches the contract. Frustrated and under the excesses of alcohol and the night life, his life becomes chaotic. But, with no little effort, he tries to reunite his band to succeed.

Cuba, 2006
Director: Jorge Luis Sánchez
Running time: 132 min.
07/22 @7 pm

 

The Violin Teacher

Original Title: Tudo Que Aprendemos Juntos
The movie tells the story of Laertes (Lázaro Ramos), a talented violinist who after failing to be admitted into the OSESP Orchestra is forced to give music classes to teenagers in a public school at Heliopolis. His path is full of difficulties, but the transforming power of music and the friendship arising between the teacher and the students open the door into a new world.

Brazil, 2015
Director: Sérgio Machado
Running time: 92 min.
08/12 @7 pm

Vengo

The death of his son leads to the fall of Caco, a gypsy patriarch who takes refuge in alcohol and parties. He also has the responsibility of caring for Diego, his brother’s paraplegic son, who he needs to protect from death debt of another gypsy family.

France/Spain, 2000
Director: Tony Gatlif
Running time: 90 min.
08/26 @7 pm

The Wind Journeys

A musician travels a great distance to return an instrument to his elderly teacher.

Colombia, 2009
Director: Ciro Guerra
Running time: 117 min.
09/09 @7 pm

ORIGINAL SOUNDS

Selection of documentaries whose central theme is the music or sound of the original peoples.

Riu, what the songs tell

The documentary “Riu”, which in the Rapanui language means song, is the spiritual and physical journey of the last heiress of the ancestral culture of oral tradition that remains on Easter Island. María Elena Hotus, a 70-year-old woman who works as a composer, performer, and teacher of different vocal techniques, has decided to pass on her legacy before she dies.

Chile, 2007
Director: Pablo Berthelon Aldunate
Running time: 71 min.
09/23 @7 pm

Ukamau y Ké

Abraham Bojórquez, known as Ukamau and Ké, developed the so-called ¨hip hop¨ in the Aymara language and with his rebel lyrics he shook Latin American society at the beginning of the 21st century. He died violently on the cusp of his musical career the day he finished recording his second album. Years later, his friend, the rapper and Ecuadorian director Andrés Ramírez, returns to Bolivia to look for him through the Andean circular temporality and reveal the reasons for his death.
Bolivia/Ecuador,  2010
Director: Andrés Ramírez
Running time: 87 min.
10/14 @7 pm

Those Who Come, Will Hear

Original Title: Ceux qui viendront, L’entendront
Those Who Come, Will Hear proposes a unique meeting with the speakers of several indigenous and Inuit languages of Quebec – all threatened with extinction. The film starts with the discovery of these unsung tongues through listening to the daily life of those who still speak them today. Buttressed by an exploration and creation of archives, the film allows us to better understand the musicality of these languages and reveals the cultural and human importance of these venerable oral traditions by nourishing a collective reflection on the consequences of their disappearance.

Canada, 2018
Director: Simon Plouffe
Running time: 77 min.
10/28 @7 pm

Mara’akame’s Dream

Nieri is a young Huichol indian whose dream of travelling with his music band to play in a concert in Mexico City faces opposition from his father, who is a Mara´akame (Huichol chaman) and has different plans for his son. He must find the Blue Deer in his dreams in order to become a Mara´akame himself and learn this healing tradition. Nieri travels to Mexico city where he gets lost but finally finds his vision.

Mexico, 2016
Director: Federico Cecchetti
Running time: 90 min.
11/11 @7 pm

Program are subject to change without notice.