Local Documentary Sunday

Here's what y'all should do tomorrow.

(Picture is Michael Rodriguez, featured in the film, photo by Luis Alejandro Parker)

Date: 1/18/2009

Start Time: 1:30 PM

End Time: 4:00 PM


A documentary by local film maker Laura Varela examines the personal toll and legacy of the Vietnam War on three South Texas artists: visual artist Juan Farias, author Michael Rodriguez and poet/performance artist Eduardo Garza. The stories of these veterans takes us through a journey of their lives: growing up in the Mexican American community; their military service in Vietnam and their lives after the war. Through their stories we examine the role art plays in the sorting of memories, post-traumatic stress syndrome, activism and the current conflict in Iraq.

A discussion with some of the veterans in the film and medical personnel from the local VA Clinic follows the preview screening. There will also be a reception hosted by the San Antonio Film Commission.

Library: Central Library

Location: Auditorium

Contact: Sandra Griffin

Contact Number: (210) 432-6783

This is a documentary, whose excellent trailer you can watch here, about to make the festival circuit. I'm definitely hoping to sneak out of the ballroom dancing competition I'm covering for the paper to get a look at it. I've been talking to Laura about the whole process, which has been a marathon:

“In the seven years I was working on this film, I had my second child, made two short docs, two artist residencies, and several multimedia installations and learned to navigate the PBS system! Whew... :))”

Of the inspiration behind such a tough subject, she told me that “...the film really started because I had 5 uncles who served in Vietnam, some by marriage. But this war affected my family so much that I started talking to people and found out that so many Mexicanos had Vietnam stories that affected them, changing the trajectory of many peoples' lives. There are so many other commonalities, all over the Southwest, but this story focuses on these artists living in San Antonio.”

Local filmmakers who worked on the film include Guillermina Zabala, Yake Smith, Dora Pena, and Tyler Ibarra. It's a contemporary work by a talented local woman filmmaker about an important subject. And it's free. Let's go see it.

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