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  • Glenn Heath
  • Programmer, San Diego Latino Film Festival,
  • sdlatinofilm.com

Carlos Reygadas’s Silent Light is a hypnotic character study about a man torn between his wife and lover while residing in a northern Mexican Mennonite community. It is both sublime and breathtaking. A glorious fade-in and an equally haunting fade-out act as visual bookends for a film that carefully charts the ongoing struggle between emotional expression and faith-based religion. 

Alambrista! is a scathing critique of modern immigration issues and class division. Alambrista! tells the harrowing story of one undocumented worker’s struggle to transcend the harsh realities of his surroundings. Robert Young’s brilliant film lies somewhere between the work of Richard Linklater and Luis Buñuel, a funny, tragic, and surreal slice of social realism that feels more important now than ever.

  • Silent Light (Mexico) 2007, Vivendi Entertainment
  • List Price: $22.99
  • Alambrista! (USA) 1977, Criterion Collection
  • List Price: $39.95
  • Julia Richardson
  • Membership coordinator, San Diego Latino Film Festival

If you want to watch a great Spanish film, El Bola is one that’ll really pull at your heartstrings. It’s about Pablo, a 12-year-old boy living in an abusive home who befriends his new classmate, Alfredo. Pablo is able to find some solace as Alfredo and his caring family reach out to him. The acting is great, and you really want to give Pablo a big hug and tell him, “Everything’s going to be all right.”

As if you need another reason to watch Even the Rain other than it stars the incredible Gael Garcia Bernal! Featured at our 2011 Que Viva Cine Latino Series, Even the Rain is a film-within-a-film about a director and producer who set out to Bolivia to make a movie in the midst of political unrest. The scenes are gripping, the emotions high, and the film blurs the line between reality and fiction.

  • El Bola (Spain) 2000, Film Movement
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Even the Rain/Tambien la Lluvia (Spain/Mexico) 2010, Lionsgate
  • List Price: $14.99
  • Jodi Cilley
  • Filmmaker and media arts instructor at MACSD

Beautifully shot, compellingly written, flawlessly executed; I fell in love with Dexter after only a few episodes.  The opening titles alone almost had me.  Michael C. Hall does an exceptional job as Dexter, a serial killer who kills serial killers. His awkward personality and horrific backstory has the audience rooting for the “bad guy” as it forces us to explore the gray area between good and bad.

Shaun of the Dead is an oldie but goodie zombie comedy that had me rolling. I like how Shaun (Simon Pegg), so self-absorbed with his own problems, goes on about his life, oblivious to the world unraveling around him into zombie apocalypse.  Of course, the movie is chock full of gratuitous zombie killing and over-the top gore. But what makes it special is its humor, the fresh way it’s directed, and the oh-so-perfect jabs at the zombie genre.

  • Dexter: Season 1-4 (USA) 2006–2009, Showtime
  • List Price: $39.98 (four discs)
  • Shaun of the Dead (England) 2004, Rogue
  • List Price: $12.98
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