Film series: Cine con Cultura Latinx American Film Festival

Student working on film projector

image from Cathy Lee Crane’s Crossing Columbus

Cornell Cinema collaborates once again with Ithaca’s Cine con Cultura Film Festival, an annual event that brings Latin American and Latinx films to the Ithaca area to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15). The Festival is organized by Cultura Ithaca!, Ithaca College and Cornell's Latina/o Studies Program, and hosts virtual screenings presented by Cinemapolis, Ithaca College, and Cornell Cinema.

We begin with the winner of the Best Documentary Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, master filmmaker Patricio Guzman’s The Cordillera of Dreams, which completes his trilogy (with Nostalgia for the Light and The Pearl Button) investigating the relationship between historical memory, political trauma, and geography in his native country of Chile. The film includes footage of the recent unrest in Chile that looks disturbingly familiar to scenes of police violence in this country. Cecelia Lawless, who teaches Perspectives on Latin America, will offer an introduction to the film.  
Song Without a Name is loosely based on true events, set in Peru in the late 1980s, when corruption was rampant. The story centers on an indigenous Andean woman whose newborn baby is stolen from her after she’s lured to a fake medical clinic in Lima. Filmed in gorgeous black and white cinematography, the film unflinchingly depicts a real-life tragedy with poetic beauty.

The Wolf House was inspired by the actual case of Colonia Dignidad (The Dignity Colony, a remote, Chilean Nazi sect founded after WWII), but masquerades as an animated fairy tale. “[It fuses] Grimm, the early shorts of David Lynch and the stop-motion work of Jan Švankmajer into a visually engrossing, reference-rich and disturbing tale.” (The Hollywood Reporter)  
The series ends at Cornell with Cathy Lee Crane’s documentary Crossing Columbus, offered as a special Central New York regional screening. Set in Columbus, New Mexico, where every year Mexican riders on horseback cross the border into Columbus to commemorate Pancho Villa’s 1916 raid, the film offers a unique take on the US/Mexico border. Crane writes

“In today’s climate, crossing the border between the US and Mexico in a ceremony of bi-national reconciliation is as exceptional as it is inevitable. My visual perspective fashioned over 25 years of hybrid filmmaking combines pristine archival material of the raid and the US military expedition which followed it with a camera that observes its present-day interlocutors from an intimate distance.”

Crane is Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography at Ithaca College and will join us for a Q & A on Wednesday, October 14 at 7:30pm 

For the complete Festival line-up, visit

Related films

image from the film Crossing Columbus

Crossing Columbus


image from the film The Wolf House

The Wolf House


image from the film The Cordillera of Dreams

The Cordillera of Dreams


image from the film Song Without a Name

Song Without a Name