Events

States of Migration Film Series



Las Patronas’ Kitchen

Title:

Las Patronas’ Kitchen

Release Date: 2016
Runtime: 66 minutes
Director: Javier Garcia
Languages: Spanish with English subtitles
Country: Mexico
Synopsis: Las Patronas' Kitchen tells the story of a group of farm women who 23 years ago realized that people were "free riding" on top of the train that crosses their community, La Patrona, in Veracruz, Mexico. They did not know who the travelers were or why they were traveling in this way.

One day, Doña Leo sent her daughters to buy milk and bread. On their way back home the train was passing by and someone riding it shouted: "Mother, feed me, I am hungry." The daughters gave them what they had. They returned home fearing their mother would be mad. Instead Doña Leo told them: "When people are hungry, you have to give." Since then, the women of La Patrona have been cooking for migrants traveling on the train.

Little by little their kitchen has become a political space. Las Patronas speak publicly about Mexico's problems, poverty in the countryside, human rights, society's indifference towards migrants, and their own rights as women.
Director Bio: Javier García was born in Mexico City in 1968. He studied music and social anthropology, however in recent years his main activity has been as a photojournalist and producer. He has worked for press agencies such as AP, AFP, Imagenlatina and other journals. In 2009, he produced and photographed the short documentary film La Patrona, which was screened in several film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, Clermont Ferrand, and CinéRail in France. In 2014, he produced and designed the sound for the transmedia documentary Geography of Pain (Geografía del dolor), a project that depicts the heartbreaking stories of families looking for their missing relatives in Mexico. In 2017, he won the Audience Award in the Cine Las Américas Film Festival in Austin for the music video "Quemaya-ma," by the artist Patricio Hidalgo and the Afrojarocho. He considers photography as a social commitment, one that is more important than ever.

Life Between Borders: Black Migrants in Mexico

Title:

Life Between Borders: Black Migrants in Mexico

Release Date: 2017
Runtime: 15 minutes
Director: Ebony Marie Bailey
Languages: Spanish with English subtitles
Countries: Mexico, Haiti, United States
Synopsis: Thousands of Haitians seeking entry to the US are now left stranded at the northern Mexico border. But Black migration is not new to Mexico, as people from the African Diaspora have lived here for centuries. In this short documentary, we meet Haitians stuck at the border as well as Africans in Mexico City to explore Black migration and identity in Mexico.
Director Bio: Ebony Bailey is a filmmaker from Central California whose work explores cultural intersections, diaspora, and social justice. Her documentaries have screened at film festivals and forums in the US, Mexico, South America, and Europe. She has produced videos and visual content for Mijente, LA Times, NPR and Africa is a Country. Ebony has been awarded the Samuel L. Coleman Scholarship for emerging filmmakers at the Haitian International Film Festival, and she was selected for the Tomorrow's Filmmakers Today program by HBO and Hola Mexico Film Festival. Her latest film, Jamaica y Tamarindo, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. She is completing her Masters in Documentary Film at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Invisible Roots: Afro-Mexicans in Southern California

Title:

Invisible Roots: Afro-Mexicans in Southern California

Release Date: 2014
Runtime: 21 minutes
Directors: Tiffany Walton and Lizz Mullis
Languages: Spanish with English subtitles
Countries: Mexico, United States
Synopsis: More than one million Mexicans are of African descent, yet this heritage is often forgotten, denied, and many times stigmatized, both in Mexico and in Chicanx communities in the United States. INVISIBLE ROOTS is an intimate look at Afro-Mexicans living in Southern California as they discuss complex issues of racial, national, and cultural identities. The Herrera family in Pasadena proudly performs the famous "La Danza de los Diablos," or "The Dance of the Devils." One of the performers explains the origins of the dance: "We have been told by our ancestors that the dance came from Africa, but when they were enslaved and brought over here, the dance became a way to make fun of the overseer." Meanwhile, the Cisneros family makes sure to keep alive the spiritual traditions and culinary secrets that they brought from Costa Chica, Mexico.

INVISIBLE ROOTS, the first documentary about Afro-Mexicans in Southern California, features interviews with historians Alva Moore Stevenson and Daniel Cendejaz Mendez, and music by Kemo the Blaxican.
Director Bios: Tiffany Walton first became familiar with Afro-Mexicans after seeing Tony Gleaton's photography of the African presence in Mexico, while she was a teen. Later, she read an article in the Los Angeles Times, by John Mitchell, about Afro-Mexicans living in Southern California and wanted to learn more about their stories. As a writer and producer, Tiffany creates content for the lifestyle site, SkinGab.

Lizz Mullis is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California. Influenced by her experience as a photographer and editor, Lizz has ventured into creating both fiction and non-fiction film narratives. Her ultimate goals are to create content that challenges viewers' thought processes and invites social change.

Week Three
November 24-29

The Hemispheric Institute presents the States of Migration Film Series


This series of powerful short and feature films, curated by the Hemispheric Institute, seeks to center stories of migration and expulsion from the Americas. These are tales of harrowing journeys, desperate measures, deep solidarities, and courageous political action. Through these stories, filmmakers reveal not only the degradations perpetrated by nation-states and their border regimes, but also the tenacity of people who imagine life beyond their reality.


About this film series

Free screenings are available each week Friday through Monday, from November 12 – December 13, 2021.

About HemiTV

HemiTV is the Hemispheric Institute’s portal for live streaming and virtual programming, developed for the Zoom era and beyond.