This Film Series Brings the Best of Latin American Cinema to Houston

Lead Photo: 'Matar a Jesus' still courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival
'Matar a Jesus' still courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival
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Now in its thirteenth edition, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Latin Wave program is set to bring some of the best recent Latin American films to Texas. With films from Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic that range from sweeping historical epics to comedic family films this year’s program promises to have something for everyone.

Part of the draw of MFAH’S Latin Wave is the chance to meet the filmmakers behind the projects being screened. Director Laura Mora Ortega, for example, will be on hand to present Killing Jesus (Matar a Jesús). Drawing from her own experience of losing her father to the violence in her native Colombia, Mora Ortega’s feature follows Paula as she wrestles with avenging her father after he’s gunned down. The only obstacle is the close relationship she soon develops with the assassin she’s pursuing. The action-packed thriller speaks to Colombia’s current attempts to reconcile its recent past.

Also visiting Houston is José María Cabral who’ll be presenting his festival hit Woodpeckers (Carpinteros)The first Dominican film to play Sundance, Woodpeckers is set in a prison where male prisoners communicate with female inmates with a sign language that gives the film its title. But when Julián, who’s charged with sending messages to Yanelly by her ex-husband, begins forming a romantic relationship with his “pen-pal” things get a bit more complicated in this equally funny and brutal take on Romeo and Juliet behind bars.

Elsewhere, H-town residents will get a chance to catch Lucrecia Martel’s nightmarish colonial epic ZamaErnesto Daranas’s Cuban radio-space drama Sergio and SergeiDiego Ros’s Mexican thriller The Night Guard (El vigilante), Samir Oliveros hilarious Caribbean comedy Bad Lucky Goat, Constanza Novick’s ode to female friendship The Future Ahead (El futuro que viene), Alejo Moguillansky’s modern take on The Little Match Girl (La vendedora de fósforos) among Latin Wave’s four-day program.

Latin Wave runs April 26–29, 2018.