El Pueblo: Searching for Contemporary Latin America

Series Site

"This series, which was first shown at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 2016 and tours the U.S. this February, showcases films that have sought to rethink the terms of representation in Latin American cinema. In Latin American political discourse, the notion of “el pueblo” can refer to the entire region, the people of a nation, the common people, and the village. Since roughly 2005, some of the most original and innovative work from the region has replaced a commonly-voiced declaration of collective identity (the rallying cry “Somos el pueblo” – “We are the people”) with an exploratory project that asks: What is “el pueblo”? Can the grander constructs that it implies (Latin America, national identity) be illuminated or challenged by first narrowing its scope? Might a more productive point of departure be the zone of the locality? These programs trace a shift in the terms of representation, away from the narratives offered by institutionally-entrenched political actors and mass media outlets, toward more microscopic and fragmented views of fraught issues such as urbanization, labor rights, and the role of social movements in developing democracies. If “el pueblo” can be pinpointed and represented with any precision, it is in the locales where small-scale developments and seemingly-minor stories occur."