Columbia University in the City of New York | Instituto Cervantes | in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center
Curated by Marcela Goglio and Claudio Iván Remeseira. All films are in English except The Krutch.
Admission to all films is free. The director will be present at each screening.
Directions to Davis Auditorium: enter Columbia campus on 116th Street and Broadway or on Amsterdam.
For further directions, see
November 27

6:00–8:00 p.m.
Instituto Cervantes
211 East 49th Street
El Cantante
dir. Leon Ichaso, 2007, 116m
El Cantante is the dramatic biography of Puerto Rican salsa pioneer Hector Lavoe. The film follows Lavoe’s (Marc Anthony) passionate relationship with Puchi (Jennifer Lopez) and his skyrocket to international fame. But even when he has it all, Lavoe is unable to escape the allure of drugs and his personal pain.
Wednesday November 28
8:00–10:00 p.m.
Davis Auditorium
Columbia University
The Krutch
dir. Judith Escalona, 2004, 29m/English, Spanish, and German, with Spanish subtitles
The Krutch is a surreal narrative about a Puerto Rican psychoanalyst with a long-suppressed identity problem that erupts with some dire consequences. The film is unique in exploring the mental anguish and shame associated with racism. Stylistically akin to Buñuel with an eye toward Godard, it occupies an absurdist space that keeps it from descending into the maudlin clichés of realism. With Jaime Sánchez as the mysterious Dr. Gúzman and Cathy Haase as his unsuspecting patient, Mrs. Kleist.
  The Krutch is preceded by
Two Dollar Dance
dir. Yolanda Pividal, 2006, 17m
Every weekend, hundreds of Latino immigrants pack the dance clubs of Jackson Heights, Queens. There, they meet women who will be their dance floor partners for two dollars a song. Through the eyes of Victor, a patron, and Liz, one of the ballerinas, this film dives into the solitude and expectations of men and women who leave their families and countries behind to work in the United States.
  La Bruja: A Witch
from The Bronx

dir. Felix Rodriguez, 2005, 50m
Art, labor, and family blend in this intimate documentary about performance artist Caridad De La Luz, better know as “La Bruja.” Born and raised in the Bronx, this daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants takes the number 6 train to downtown Manhattan, where she performs at popular New York City venues. She reads her poetry in Joe’s Pub, stages her one-woman show in the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and performs at Def Poetry Jam. But opportunities are scarce, and she struggles to make ends meet in an industry where “to keep it real” often means to work for free.
November 29

8:00–10:00 p.m.
Davis Auditorium
Columbia University
Soy Andina
dir. Mitch Teplitsky, 2007, 67m 
After 15 years in New York, Nélida Silva returns to her birthplace in the Andes to fulfill a lifelong dream of hosting the Fiesta Patronal––a week of dance, music, and ritual honoring the town’s patron saint. But Neli has changed, and so has the village. At the same time, Cynthia, a dancer raised in Queens by her Peruvian mother, embarks on her own journey, determined to know the real Peru. A cross-cultural road trip, propelled by traditional music and dance rarely seen outside Peru, but with a universal core story: the yearning for roots and connection in a globalized world.
November 30

8:00–10:00 p.m.
Davis Auditorium
Columbia University
From Mambo to
Hip Hop: A South
Bronx Tale

dir. Henry Chalfont, 2006, 55m

Filmmaker Elena Martinez will be present with director Henry Chalfont.

The film is a portrait of the South Bronx, the beleaguered New York community that was infamously destroyed by urban renewal, arson, gangs, drugs, and violence. Yet, at the same time, this borough has contributed enormously to the popular culture of the world and has had an impact way beyond its size. In the 1950s, the streets pulsated with the rhythms of Cuba and the hot new urban sounds of Latin jazz, mambo, and, later, salsa. On these same streets in the 1970s, a new generation spun records, rapped, and danced to the funky beats of Hip Hop. From Mambo to Hip Hop is the story of how an oppressed community can survive and thrive through cultural expression.
December 1

8:00–10:00 p.m.
Davis Auditorium,
Columbia University
Washington Heights
dir. Alfredo De Villa, 2002, 89m
Washington Heights tells the story of Carlos Ramirez, a young illustrator burning to escape the neighborhood and make a splash in downtown’s commercial comic-book scene. When his father, a bodega owner, is shot in a burglary attempt, Carlos is forced to put his dream on hold and run the store. In the process, he comes to the realization that if he is to make it as a comic artist, he must first engage with his own community, take the experience back into the world, and put it into his work.