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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hollywood Premiere of Film on Nicaragua

By Circles Robinson

During the 1980s hundreds if not thousands of southern Californians visited Nicaragua, the country President Ronald Reagan repeatedly said was about to attack Texas. Some visited on tour groups and others traveled on their own.

Nicaragua, an impoverished agricultural country, had a population of under 4 million back then but from the mainstream news and US State Department spokespersons, it seemed as big as China and as bad as today’s worst “evil corners.”

Healthy skepticism led more than a few people to travel south just to check it out. Others had more information on what was occurring with the young revolution and wanted to show their support.

On Sunday October 8, L.A. residents will get the chance to see “Nuestra America” (Our America) an award-winning 2005 documentary that superimposes today’s Nicaragua with the one that existed back in 1984.

The film will be shown during the 10th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (October 5-15) at the Egyptian Arena, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at 2:30 p.m.

Director Kristina Konrad will be on hand to answer questions at the showing.

The 84-minute documentary provides a 20-year retrospect of Nicaragua, its frustrated revolution, and the lives of some of those who dared to dream and risk everything for a brighter future.

It comes to Los Angeles a month before Nicaragua’s November 5, 2006 general elections, to take place two days before mid-term elections in the US.

A review in Neil Young’s Film Lounge from the Bradford UK Film Festival calls Our America: “A gripping, illuminating documentary in which director Konrad makes an emotional return to Nicaragua. ... Konrad pulls off the tricky feat of making this very personal journey of (re-)discovery interesting and accessible to her audience: the picture stirs laughter and tears in roughly equal measure, and makes a range of points (political, philosophical and psychological) without ever straying into preachiness or futile elegy.”

Our America won the prize for the best film about Latin America by a director from outside the region at last December’s prestigious Havana Film Festival.

The documentary is a must for those interested in Latin America and US policy in the region.


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