Michael Bergeron
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Latin Wave 11

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Latin Wave 11 rolls into the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Brown Auditorium starting Thursday, April 28 through Sunday, May 1.

Latin Wave programmer Diana Sánchez has assembled a line-up that ranges from documentaries to serious dramas as well as fables and surrealism.

From Argentina: Our Last Tango/Un Tango Más; from Brazil: The Second Mother/Que Horas Ela Volat?, the Oscar nominated animated feature Boy and His World, Absence/ Ausencia; from Chile: The Pearl Button/ El Botón de Nácar; from Columbia: Embrace of the Serpent/El Abrazo de la Serpiente; from Guatemala: Volcano/Ixcanul; from Mexico: Semana Santa and I Promise You Anarchy/Te Prometo Anarquía; and from Venezuela: From Afar/Desde Allá.ixcanul-volcano-still-2-jayro-bustamante

Special guests include Volcano helmer Jayro Bustamante, and From Afar director Lorenzo Vegas, and the producer of Semana Santa, and Absence, Cristina Garza.

The complete schedule is online at the MFAH’s film website.

Of particular interest is the Oscar nominated Embrace of the Serpent, which has already played for a brief one-week-lock-in at the local art house du jour.

Embrace is an up-the-river-movie. As such, expect genre similarities to Aguirre, the Wrath of God or Apocalypse Now. The narrative weaves two storylines decades apart. In both, the native guide (played by two actors separated by age) leads European explorers through hazardous journeys down the Amazon River. In both cases the search is for rare and holistic healing plants. In each scenario the native is the true visionary and the explorer is the white devil.

We encounter corrupt priests, rare shamanistic practices, and the normal every day dangers of a primitive river. It’s a fascinating journey reflected in stirring black-and-white imagery. There’s a hint of Carlos Castaneda into-the-void mentality in the proceedings. That’s a good thing.

— Michael Bergeron