Yesterday, I showed an international movie to the residents of the hall. The movie, “Quemar Las Naves,” deals with the daily life of a boy (Sebastian) his sister (Elena) and their dying mother. The movie has several hot-button themes within the plot.
Sebastian is a school-aged boy looking to find himself. For years, he’s been under the thumb of his sister, Elena who has had to assume the role of mother and caretaker due to their mother’s illness and inevitable death. He begins journey when he meets Juan, a poverty-stricken rebel transfer student who is regularly bullied at school by the popular and rich kids led by Efrain, friend of the family to both Sebastian and Elena . Juan helps Sebastian discover himself and Sebastian helps to show Juan that it is possible to find love in a sea of hate.
The movie deals with several themes. Homosexuality, Classism,and Incest are all featured throughout the movie.
But the movie’s main theme is Freedom.
I showed this movie last year and didn’t have much success. The residents didn’t quite understand the movie and found themselves focusing on the themes of the movie that were most controversial (homosexuality and incest) without paying attention to the overall message of the film.
This time around, I took a different approach. Instead of leaving the entire movie up to their interpretation, I broke the movie up into parts and explained the plot as we went along.
I also asked for feedback. I asked residents (and guests) what they were observing from the movie. And what messages from the movie they could use here in the AUC.
The turn out for the film was pretty good considering. A foreign film had just been shown earlier in the week by Hakeem White and we used the same incentives for attendance. What helped me in getting a decent turn out (the numbers started out with 4 residents and ended with 15 people watching the movie) was my general good relation with my residents. Once the movie started, they started calling friends and telling them to come. Some came to watch just because they knew it was a program I was putting on and a few of my residents really took part in the movie, the set-up, and the discussion.
Overall, the movie was a great learning experience and I feel my residents got a great deal out of seeing it.