¡REVOLUCIÓN! Film Series: "Cocalero"

In the past decade, Latin America has witnessed the emergence of a new generation of democratically elected left-wing leaders who, in most cases, have made history just by winning the presidential elections in their traditionally right-wing countries. Moreover, by breaking up with local political inertia, these leaders have helped establish a new political landscape throughout the region. Though this phenomenon appears to have given rise to a homogenous and consistent regional block, most of these leaders emerged from the diverse and sometimes conflicting traditions of the Latin American Left and from disparate local contexts.

"¡REVOLUCIÓN! The New Latin American Left" is an original film series comprising six documentary films about some of these new regional leaders. This event aims to start a constructive and engaging dialogue about the similarities, differences, challenges and risks of the diverse expressions of the contemporary Left in Latin America, while also discussing the immediate and long-term future of the region.

Each film will be introduced by a specialist in Latin American studies and followed by a moderated discussion session among the audience.

Sponsored by the Department of Hispanic Studies, the Department of Political Science, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, the Department of History and Rice Cinema at Rice University; the Department of Political Science at The University of Houston; and Cinema Tropical, New York.

Bolivia: "Cocalero"
(Alejandro Landes, Argentina/Bolivia, 2007, 94 min. Quechua and Spanish with English subtitles.)

An Aymara Indian named Evo Morales -- backed by a troop of coca leaf farmers -- travels through the Andes and the Amazon in jeans and sneakers, leading a historic bid to become Bolivia"s first indigenous president. Traveling alongside Morales and the Movement to Socialism party (MAS) as they campaign through remote mining towns and faraway peasant villages, "Cocalero" reveals scenery as diverse and fractured as the country"s people, painting a vivid picture of a political phenomenon while raising open historical questions.

Moderator: Isabella Alcañiz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, The University of Houston

Speaker Erika de la Garza

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Sun, Oct. 18, 2009
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
(GMT-0500) America/Chicago