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.
Chile: "La Hija Del General (The General"s Daughter)"
(Marￃﾭa Elena Wood, Chile/Spain, 2006, 59 min. Spanish with English subtitles.)
In 2006, Michelle Bachelet made history by becoming Chile"s first female president, despite being a socialist, a single mother and an agnostic in one of South America"s most conservative nations. Filmmaker Marￃﾭa Elena Wood spent one year following Bachelet as she traveled through Chile on the campaign trail. Through the letters written by her late father, a general in the Chilean Air Force imprisoned after Pinochet seized power in 1973, we learn the trajectory of a middle-class Chilean family profoundly marked by the collapse of democracy. "The General"s Daughter" tells the story of Bachelet"s life, her surprising journey on the road to the presidency and documents a series of experiences that are emblematic to Chile"s recent history.
Moderator: Margarita de la Vega Hurtado, Ph.D., Executive Director of International Film Seminars