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Festival offers filmmaker’s view of history and life in the borderlands

May 04, 2010

Attendants to the Paul Espinosa Border Film Festival will have the opportunity to focus on different historical moments and experiences of life in the U.S.-Mexico border.

The festival will present five films by award-winning documentary filmmaker and professor of transborder studies Paul Espinosa at the Tempe Center for the Arts, May 7-9.

Espinosa, who has been involved over the last 10 years in a number of festivals in California, New Mexico and Texas, felt “the time seemed right for a presentation here in Arizona. “

“I hope viewers will gain a better understanding of the deep historical relationship that Mexicans and Americans have had over the last 175 years,” says Espinosa.

The filmmaker’s movies vary incredibly in their characters and stories, the films to be featured are The Lemon Grove Incident, The Miners, The U.S.-Mexican War: 1846-1848, The Hunt for Pancho Villa and the classic …and the earth did not swallow him.

The Lemon Grove Incident examines the first successful legal challenge to school segregation anywhere in the United States. The incident is a 1930's case just 15 miles from the border, involving Mexican American children whose recently-immigrated parents refused to let their local school board create a separate school for their children.

The U.S.-Mexican War: 1846-1848 focuses on the war that created the border as we know it today.  
Los Mineros/The Miners is the compelling story of the 50-year struggle of Mexican American copper miners for justice in Clifton-Morenci, Arizona. 

The Hunt for Pancho Villa profiles a dramatic moment in 1916 when the U.S and Mexico came to the brink of war, after Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus New Mexico. ...and the earth did not swallow him is a feature film adaptation of Tomas Rivera’s classic novel about a young Mexican American boy and his migrant farm worker family.

Admission to the Paul Espinosa Film Festival is free and open to the public. Showings will be May 7, 7 p.m., May 8, 2 p.m., and May 9, 2 p.m.

The Paul Espinosa Border Film Festival is a production of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Arizona Humanities Council and Tempe Center for the Arts.

Winner of eight Emmy awards, an independent filmmaker specializing in documentary and dramatic films focused on the U.S.-Mexico border region, Dr. Espinosa currently serves as a professor at ASU’s Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies.

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