Apr 10, 2024 - Culture

Chicago Latino Film Festival celebrates 40 years

A screenshot of a movie where three people sit on a roof

Omar Chaparro (left) Mercedes Hernández and Max Arciniega in "The Wingwalker." Photo: Courtesy of the Chicago Latino Film Festival

The 40th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival kicks off tomorrow night at the Davis Theatre with the debut of "The Wingwalker," featuring local actor and Teatro Vista ensemble member Max Arciniega.

The big picture: The fest has grown from "a handful of films projected against a wall for 500 people" in 1984 to this year's program of 85 movies for an audience of 35,000, festival rep and longtime arts writer Alejandro Riera tells Axios.

Zoom in: "The Wingwalker" tells the story of a deported Mexican migrant who tries desperately to return to the U.S. to be with his sick child.

The festival will close April 22 with the premiere of "Milonga," a film about a widow grappling with the legacy of her violent husband.

Here are three film recommendations from Riera:

  • "Once Upon a Time in the Caribbean" (Puerto Rico) "asks what if Tarantino had adapted all 20+ volumes of the classic manga 'Lone Wolf and Cub,' changed the samurai blades to machetes and transported the action to Puerto Rico, more than 30 years after the United States took possession of the island."
  • "The Nothingness Club" (Portugal) is "a bizarre biopic (for lack of a better term) about Portuguese writer and mystic Fernando Pessoa, who created dozens of personas, each with their own personality."
  • "The Rye Horn" (Galicia, Spain) is "about a woman who, in the final years of Franco's regime when abortion was still a crime, has to escape to Portugal after her involvement in a botched abortion."

If you go: Find a full schedule and tickets (most $15) here.

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