More CineFestival film picks

CineFestival takes place at the Guadalupe Theater (1301 Guadalupe). Click here for complete schedule and ticket info. SPECIAL JURY AWARD WINNER

Stable Life (60 min) ****1/2 Directed by Sarah MacPherson 7pm Thu, Feb 28 Stable Life is an unflinching portrait of a family of undocumented workers. Dionicia Martínez and her husband Mario Muñoz are Mexican horse trainers living at San Mateo, California’s legendary Bay Meadows racetrack before it closed in 2008. They have five boys, their oldest son (José Luis) a star jockey who crossed the border illegally on his 12th birthday. Martínez and Muñoz relay their life in the stables with humble sincerity. They recognize that their wages are low, their labor rights precarious, and the stability of their home life hangs by a hair. Nonetheless, it’s a better life than what Martínez remembers in Puebla, stealing tomatoes and chiles from the fields to feed her family. Director Sara MacPherson worked as an immigration lawyer, specializing in family immigration, and she was compelled to present “the undocumented experience” in film. Stable Life is a documentary with unparalleled access to the daily lives of the stable workers. Yet, the force of the film lies in the rapport MacPherson developed with the family — they are so forthright and honest about the complexities of their situation. As the director explains, “Our hope is to draw viewers in enough for them to ask, ‘In similar circumstances, what would I do?’”   Niños de la memoria/Children of Memory (60 min) **** Directed by María Teresa Rodríguez 3:30pm Sat, Mar 2 Children of Memory tells the heartrending story of a search for hundreds of children who disappeared during El Salvador’s civil war. Many were massacred with their families, but some survived and were placed in orphanages, adopted by military families, or adopted by families abroad. The film follows Margarita Zamora, a human rights investigator, as she travels the Salvadoran countryside in a quest to reunite families and uncover the truths behind the disappearances, including those of her own four siblings. — Joy-Marie Scott