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Exploring Hispanic Culture in Film

WCU News 2017

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Exploring Hispanic Culture in Film

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Exploring Hispanic Culture in Film

For the third year, members of the University and the surrounding community will have an opportunity for cultural exploration when five Spanish-language films are shown on campus. All films are subtitled in English and are free and open to the public.

Each screening is hosted by a faculty member who will facilitate discussion “before and after each film to draw critical connections to our lives in Pennsylvania,” says organizer Iliana Pagán-Teitelbaum, assistant professor of languages and cultures. The screenings are timely, falling within Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15).

The series begins on Monday, Sept. 25, with the screening of Don’t Call Me Son, which examines issues surrounding gender and transgender identity, false adoption, and adolescence.

The films “expose students to localized and universal themes of social inequality, political activism and solidarity, youth rights, poverty, disability, family relations, queer and trans identities, religion, historical memory, dictatorship, and violence,” explains Pagán-Teitelbaum.

“Like the previous years, in selecting the films, we were looking to encompass a variety of genres and geographical and thematic realities,” adds co-organizer Megan Saltzman, also an assistant professor in the department. Full synopses and trailers are on the Tumblr site for the festival.

Pragda Spanish Film Club, a film distributor that promotes Spanish and Latin American cinema in regions where access to these films is limited, makes the film festivals possible through grants. West Chester is one of only 42 institutions nationwide – and the only Philadelphia-area site – to receive a grant this year. The festival is put on in collaboration with the Department of Languages and Cultures and University Forum and made possible with the support of Pragda, The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain, and SPAIN Arts and Culture.

For updates, visit the Facebook page. Use #CineWCU. For more information, email Pagán-Teitelbaum ( or Saltzman (

Film Festival Schedule

The films will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Mitchell Hall Room 102 (675 South Church Street), with free pizza served at 7:15 p.m. In the schedule below, the director’s name follows each film title, as well as the country of origin and year produced, followed by the name of the Languages and Cultures department faculty member hosting that film.

  • 9/25 Don’t Call Me Son, (Anna Muylaert, Brazil 2016). Jason Bartles.
  • 10/2 The Club (Pablo Larraín, Chile 2015). Four former priests find their fragile isolated lives of atonement disrupted. Daniela Johannes.
  • 10/16 True Smile (Juan Rayos, Spain 2015). This documentary follows an autistic blind youth and his brother as they tandem-bike from Spain to Morocco. Cherie Fishbaugh, director of autism services, Dub-C Autism Program (D-CAP).
  • 10/23 Truman (Cesc Gay, Spain-Argentina 2015). Putting his affairs in order, a terminally ill man deals with rehoming his beloved dog. Israel Sanz-Sánchez.
  • 10/30 Open Cage (Max Zunino, Mexico 2014). Teenagers and the elderly clash and find common ground within a collapsed economy. Ashlie B. Delshad (Political Science).