Whether you are interested in cultural documentaries, classic dramas or anti-colonial revenge films, this year's XicanIndie Film Festival promises to showcase the most innovative and intriguing Latino, Chicano and global indigenous films. Here are five must-see selections from the festival, which starts tonight; head to Su Teatro to see the rest. See also: Daniel Salazar on the XicanIndie Film Festival, opening tomorrow
5) Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle Ruben Salazar was a frontline Latino journalist chronicling the Chicano movement of the late 1960s. In 1970, he was shot dead by a law enforcement officer; for forty years, his death has been embroiled in controversy. Phillip Rodriguez's Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle investigates Salazar's work and death.
4) Sigo Siendo Sigo Siendo guides viewers through various regions of Peru where folk and indigenous musicians are making innovative music away from mainstream recognition. "It's just the natural passion of somebody who loves their country and wants to preserve and be in touch with these kinds of traditions. The music is fabulous. It knocks your socks off," says Daniel Salazar, curator of the XicanIndie Film Festival.
Read on for more must-see films at XicanIndie.3) Escaramuza: Riding From the Heart Escaramuza: Riding From the Heart
follows a group of first generation Mexican-American women over two years as they struggle to represent the United States and California in the National Charro Championships in Mexico. As they work to achieve their rodeo dreams, they wrangle with more than horses. Family obligations, cartel violence and personal responsibilities cannot hold these women back from their goals.2) Salt of the Earth
This year marks the sixtieth anniversary ofSalt of the Earth
, the story of the strike at the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, where Chicanos fought for equal wages with Anglo workers. The producers who made this neorealist classic had been blacklisted for their alleged involvement in the Communist Party by the Hollywood establishment.
1) Culto Latino Shorts The Culto Latino Shorts program features midnight movies, horror films and newer titles vying for cult-classic status. Salazar points toThe Man Who Killed God as a strong example of what audiences can look forward to: "It's this mock documentary about a hunter from one of these indigenous tribes from the Amazon, and it's present-day, or in the near future. All of the game that he used to hunt is gone because white men killed it out. So he hunts white men. It's so cool."
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XicanIndie runs April 3 through April 6 at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive. Tickets are $10 and are available at suteatro.org or 303-296-0219. Follow me on Twitter: @kyle_a_harris