BY Iride Aparicio

WATSONVILLE, CA-- This month, as a guest of the Watsonville Film Festival, which was presented Live and online, from March 11 to the night of May 20, Cultural World Bilingual, had the opportunity, to watch, online, a variety of films created, filmed, directed and acted by Hispanics, Latinos, and Spanish-speaking filmmakers in a variety of subjects that included stories, documentaries, and cartoons, from two-hours to a few minutes long.

While, technically, some firms were more elaborated than others and presented their subjects more professionally, all the films, demonstrated the creativity and talent of the LATIX (as the previously Latinos are now called by the press) filmmakers, and their expertise in story-telling, filming, sound technique and acting-on-camera. Looking at their films, we can admit that the members of the Spanish/English speaking community are now professional story tellers, producers, cameramen, actors and actresses.

Every one of the films, presented during the weeks of the Watsonville Film Festival, served the purpose for which it had been created. There was a film dedicated to the Frijoles,(beans) as a healthy food, which was interested because the film informed its audience of the nutritional side of red beans, and even showed how to cook them to get their nourishment while eating them. Other films had a touch on lesbianism. It told the story of a lonely woman who goes to the internet to find a companion. She meets another woman through the internet and because they live in the same city plan to meet at a park, but when she arrives at the park, she decides against the meeting in person, because the woman, who is very beautiful, is not wearing a mask in this pandemic times.

Among the Political documentaries, we liked LUPITA for its professional presentation and historical theme. LUPITA takes place during the times when the Zapatistas  (l994) decided to attack and kill the Native Mayan Indians, living in the state of  Chiapas (Southern Mexico) to steal their lands, and how Lupita, a Mayan woman, gathered a large group of other Mayan women and confronted soldiers who were killing their men,  by telling them that they were traitors to their own people, because  they are working for a government who collected  the money to  pay for their salaries,  from the taxes  that the government collected from the lands and from the Mayans's homes.


And what in our opinion was the best movie in the Watsonville Film Festival, and the one we decided to review in detail was Los Hermanos.

Los Hermanos.

Produced by Ken Schneider y Marcia y Claudia Maria Bueno and directed by Peabody Award-winning directors Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, the film is actually a documentary which relates the lives of two Cuban genius-musicians brothers: Ildar and Aldo Lopez Gavilan, They were born in a humble family in Cuba, from a mother who was a housewife, and a musician father who taught them to read music as children, Aldo was taught to play the piano, and his brother the Chello. Aldo, the younger one, became such a superb piano student in Cuba, that recognizing his talent, the Government of Castro, send him to the Conservatory of Music in Moscow, Russia to study.  Ildar, who played Chello, remained in Cuba for a while but as an adult, moved to Miami Florida where he started a classical string quartet, so for many years the brothers were separated, but as musicians, always dreamed to play together again.

In a beautiful "metraje" (film series of shots) the film shows the audience, the different streets in Havana, its building,s its traffic in the street, the ocean, its markets, , its people,  and the interior of the brothers home which allows us to absorb the environment as the movie carries us through the brothers' lives, showing us their different performances and at the end their performances together after being finally reunited in Miami. years later, their tours in the United States. and their playing in Carnegie Hall in New York. As a documentary, Los hermanos is superb.