A Celebration of Latin American Film

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A still image from "Amores Perros."

Sag Harbor Cinema continues its collaboration with Cinema Tropical, the leading presenter of Latin American films in the U.S., following the success of their recent joint program during the cinema’s grand opening weekend last month. Saluting Cinema Tropical’s 20th Anniversary, the series, running June 18 to 24, will include classics from masters of contemporary cinema, like Lucretia Martel, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Alejandro González Iñárritu, as well as two exciting preview runs, Pablo Larrain’s “Ema” and Amalia Ulman’s “El Planeta.”

“Several of the best filmmakers working today come from Latin America. And Latin American cinema is many cinemas. Featuring works from Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, this program offers a glimpse of the variety of visions and themes springing from the area. It is an excitingly vibrant lineup,” says Sag Harbor Cinema’s artistic director, Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan.

The 7:30 p.m. screening of “El Planeta” on Friday, June 18, will be followed by a Q&A with the director, Amalia Ulman, moderated by Vallan, and co-founder of Cinema Tropical, Carlos Gutierrez. Sag Harbor Cinema is at 90 Main Street, Sag Harbor. For tickets and other screening times, go to sagharborcinema.org.

The films:

“Amores Perros”

Dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu

Mexico, 2000; 155 mins, in Spanish with English subtitles

Iñárritu’s breakout debut film tells the intersecting stories of a Mexico City car crash. The violent and emotional lives of three strangers are forever altered by the seemingly inconsequential destiny of a dog named Cofi. Featuring the distinct directorial style and ambitious multi-strand storytelling of Iñárritu, “Amores Perros” explores the brutality and interconnectedness of the human condition.

Aquarius”

Dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho

Brazil, 2016; 146 mins, in Portuguese with English subtitles

Embracing the complexities of its 65-year-old protagonist, the film tells the story of a woman who refuses to leave her apartment, even after all the apartments around her are sold to developers. The retired music critic and cancer survivor becomes a symbol of strength and vitality, never giving up her zestful nature. Paralleling the real life politics of Brazil, the film meditates on the connection between physical space and identity.

Sonia Braga in the film “Aquarius.”

“El Planeta”

Dir. Amalia Ulman

USA, 2021; 79 mins, in English and Spanish with English subtitles

Forced to return home after the death of her father, a daughter reconnects with her eccentric mother, hustling to maintain the semblance of their middle-class lifestyle in the face of an impending eviction. Over the course of the week, the daughter’s hopes are tested as she attempts to use her sexuality as a means of escape. Meanwhile, the mother grifts her way into definite security — the care of a jail cell. Written and directed by Argentinian/Spanish visual artist Amalia Ulman, who also stars in this elegant, devastating dark comedy that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2021. It will be released this upcoming fall by Utopia.

Ale Ulman and Amalia Ulman appear in “El Planeta” an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Carlos Rigo Bellver.

Ema”

Dir. Pablo Larraín

Chile, 2019; 107 mins, in Spanish with English subtitles

A standout of recent Latin American cinema by the Chilean director of “Jackie,” this Valparaiso melodrama pulsates with Reggaeton and stars Gael Garcia Bernal, revelatory as a choreographer, and Mariana Di Girolamo, as his muse and estranged wife. “Ema” will be released in August by Music Box.

“La Ciénaga”

Dir. Lucrecia Martel

Argentina, 2001; 103 mins, in Spanish with English subtitles

The release of Lucrecia Martel’s film heralded the arrival of a vital and original voice in Argentine cinema. With a radical and disturbing take on narrative, beautiful cinematography, and a highly sophisticated use of on- and off-screen sound, Martel turns her tale of a dissolute bourgeois extended family, whiling away the hours of one sweaty, sticky summer, into a cinematic marvel. This visceral take on class, nature, sexuality, and the ways that political turmoil and social stagnation can manifest in human relationships is a drama of extraordinary tactility, and one of the great contemporary film debuts.

A still frame from the film “La Ciénaga.”

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