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Particularly effective is Cuba–In the Shadow of Doubt (Film makers Library) an historical treatment of Castro’s rise to power and dominance.It is one of the few films shot on location at La Plata.
Maria’s Story (Film makers Library) demonstrates daily adversity on a personal level by following the mother of three who doubles as a leader of the country’s guerrilla movement.
Filmed on site, it shows Maria’s commitment to social change in the face of rural poverty.
With the increasing attention on Haiti one can hope for more films on that country.
Two useful ones are Bitter Cane depicting the poverty, class, turmoil and economic difficulties (The Cinema Guild) and Voodoo and the Church in Haiti.
Military governments and the desaparecidos in Argentina and Chile have attracted many film makers.
The Official Story poignantly relates that grim period in Argentina.Rodrigo D: No Futuro is an excellent Colombian film dealing with the life of a sicario or assigned killer. An excellent film on Peru’s Sendero Luminoso is La boca del lobo/The Lion’s Den, (Facets Videos in Chicago).Lines of Blood The Drug War in Colombia (Film makers Library) shows the impact of cocaine traffic on political, social, and economic life in Colombia and criticizes U. Fire in the Andes (Icarus) also depicts the political violence of the Shining Path, particularly in the villages.Also useful is Funny Dirty Little War (Facets), a black comedy about leftists and Peronists battling in a provincial town at the onset of the Dirty War.For a good documentary on Argentinean’s conflict with Britain, try Battle for the Falklands (Facets).Contemporary life in a Guatemalan Mayan village is documented in the two films from Icarus: Todos Santos Cuchumatan: Report from a Guatemalan Village (before the 1980s violence) and Todods Santos: The Survivors (how the violence changed the village and led to the flight to Guatemala City and Mexico).Both films were Blue Ribbon Winners at the American Film Festival in 19 respectively.On this same theme is Rigoberta Menchu: Broken Silence.This new release from Films for the Humanities and Sciences works well when coordinated with I, Rigoberta Menchu, ed. Films on Caribbean countries are more difficult to locate than for the rest of Latin America, with the exception of Cuba.For the urban scene, see Growing Up in the South, a documentary of street kids in Cusco, Peru, and Villa El Salvador: A Desert Dream, an optimistic portrayal of a squatter settlement in Lima.The last three films are available from Cinema Guild.