Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Announces Latin Wave Film Festival Program

by Jessica Fuentes March 26, 2023

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) will present the 16th Annual Latin Wave: New Films from Latin America film screening series next month. This year’s line-up features 11 acclaimed films from eight countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico.

Carlos A. Guitérrez, cofounder of Cinema Tropical, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes Latin American films, returns this year as the festival’s artistic director. Among the films this year are works by filmmakers who have shown at past Latin Wave events, such as Carlos Lechuga, whose film Santa y Andrés was part of the 2017 line-up. Some highlights of this year’s event include Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Argentina, 1985 by Santiago Mitre, Andrés Ramírez Pulido’s La Jauría (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes), and I Have Electric Dreams by Valentina Maurel, which won three of the top awards at Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival. See below for the full list of films and their summaries, provided by the MFAH.

Screenings will be held at both the MFAH’s Brown Auditorium Theater, located in the Caroline Wiess Law Building (1001 Bissonnet) and at the Lynn Wyatt Theater, located in the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building (5500 Main Street).

General admission is $10. Admission for MFAH Members, students with ID, and senior adults is $8. Additionally, students with ID will receive complimentary admission on Sunday, April 30. The festival will run from Thursday, April 27, through Sunday, April 30. Learn more and purchase tickets at the MFAH website.

A movie poster for the film "La Jauría," directed by Andrés Ramírez Pulido.

“La Jauría,” directed by Andrés Ramírez Pulido.

La Jauría
Directed by Andrés Ramírez Pulido, Colombia/France, 2022, 86 minutes, Spanish with English subtitles
Thursday, April 27 at 5 pm and Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 pm in the Lynn Wyatt Theater 

Eliú is incarcerated in an experimental juvenile correction facility in the heart of the Colombian tropical forest for a crime he committed with his friend El Mono. When El Mono is transferred to the same center, he brings a past that Eliú is trying to escape. Winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes’ Critics’ Week, the enigmatic debut feature by Andrés Ramírez Pulido is a powerful tale of lost innocence.

The Visitor (El Visitante)
Presented by director Martín Boulocq and co-screenwriter Rodrigo Hasbún (Associate Professor, University of Houston)
Directed by Martín Boulocq, Bolivia/Uruguay, 2022, 86 minutes, in Spanish and Quechua with English subtitles
Thursday, April 27, at 7:30 pm in the Brown Auditorium Theater

Set in Cochabamba, Bolivia, The Visitor follows ex-convict Humberto, who makes a modest living by singing at wakes. He yearns to reconnect with his estranged daughter, but her grandparents—wealthy evangelical pastors—are unwilling to relinquish custody of their granddaughter. Humberto is forced to face his own demons while fighting a powerful religious institution to which he once belonged.

Vicenta B
Directed by Carlos Lechuga, Cuba/France/USA/Colombia/Norway, 2022, 77 min., in Spanish with English subtitles
Friday, April 28 at 7 pm in the Brown Auditorium Theater

The third film by director Carlos Lechuga (Santa & Andrés) presents the story of Vicenta, an Afro-Cuban woman with the ability to see into the future, who lives harmoniously with her only son, until he decides to leave the country. Thrown into a profound existential crisis, she departs for a voyage to the heartland of a country where everyone seems to have lost their faith. Anchored by an extraordinary performance by Linnett Hernández Valdés, Vicenta B is a compelling parable about healing and the power of letting go.

A movie poster for the film "Huesera: The Bone Woman (Huesera)," directed by Michelle Garza Cervera.

“Huesera: The Bone Woman (Huesera),”
directed by Michelle Garza Cervera.

Huesera: The Bone Woman (Huesera)
Presented by director Michelle Garza Cervera
Directed by Michelle Garza Cervera, Mexico/Peru, 2022, 93 min., in Spanish with English subtitles
Friday, April 28, at 9 pm in the Brown Auditorium Theater

Valeria’s joy at becoming pregnant with her first child quickly dissipates when she’s cursed by a sinister entity. As danger closes in and relationships with her family become fractured, she is forced deeper into a chilling world of dark magic that threatens to consume her. Featuring a largely female cast and crew, this acclaimed Tribeca-award-winning supernatural horror movie uses Mexican folklore to tell a terrifying and unexpected story about motherhood.

Argentina, 1985
Directed by Santiago Mitre, Argentina/USA, 2022, 140 min., in Spanish with English subtitles
Saturday, April 29, at 1 pm in the Brown Auditorium Theater

Winner of a Golden Globe and nominated for Best International Feature at the 2023 Oscars, Argentina, 1985 stars renowned actor Ricardo Darín. Inspired by a true story, public prosecutors Julio César Strassera, Luis Moreno Ocampo, along with their young legal team of unlikely heroes, engage in a David-vs-Goliath battle to prosecute Argentina’s bloodiest military dictatorship. Under constant threat, they dared against all odds and race against time to bring justice to the victims of the military junta.

A movie poster for the film "I Have Electric Dreams (Tengo sueños eléctricos)," directed by Valentina Maurel.

“I Have Electric Dreams (Tengo sueños eléctricos),” directed by Valentina Maurel.

I Have Electric Dreams (Tengo sueños eléctricos)
Directed by Valentina Maurel, Costa Rica/Belgium/France, 2022, 101 min., in Spanish with English subtitles
Saturday, April 29, at 4:30 pm in the Brown Auditorium Theater

The award-winning debut feature by writer/director Valentina Maurel focuses on Eva, a 16-year-old girl who lives with her mother, her younger sister, and their cat, but who wants to move in with her estranged father. Clinging onto him, she seeks balance between the tenderness and rebellion of teenage life. Bathed in richly textured imagery and soaked in raw sensitivity, the film captures the thin line between love and hate, in a world where aggression and rage are intertwined with the vertigo of female sexual awakening.

Charcoal (Carvão)
Directed by Carolina Markowicz, Brazil, 2022, 107 min., in Portuguese and Spanish with English subtitles
Saturday, April 29, at 7 pm in the Brown Auditorium Theater

In the Brazilian countryside, a rural family living beside a charcoal factory accepts a proposal to host a mysterious foreign guest, a highly wanted drug lord. The household must keep up appearances of a normal routine. Carolina Markowicz’s accomplished debut feature—with an outstanding ensemble cast featuring Argentine actor César Bordón, Maeve Jinkings, and Rômulo Braga—is a captivating thriller, with poignant humor, and biting social commentary.

A movie poster for the film "Perlimps," directed by Alȇ Abreu.

“Perlimps,” directed by Alȇ Abreu.

Directed by Alȇ Abreu, Brazil, 2022, 80 minutes, Portuguese with English subtitles
Sunday, April 30, at 1 pm in the Lynn Wyatt Theater

The animated Perlimps, Alê Abreu’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated Boy and the World, is a dreamlike and exuberant fantasy adventure that follows Claé and Bruô, two secret agents from enemy kingdoms sent to a world controlled by giants that is in the midst of a terrible war. They must work together to find the Perlimps, mysterious creatures who can ultimately find a way to peace.

The Eternal Memory (La memoria infinita)
Directed by Maite Alberdi, Chile, 2023, 85 min., in Spanish with English subtitles
Sunday, April 30, at 3 pm in the Lynn Wyatt Theater

Winner of the Sundance Film Festival award for “World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary,′′ the latest by Oscar-nominated director Maite Alberdi (The Mole Agent) tells the story of a couple who have been together for more than two decades. Augusto is a well-known television journalist who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Paulina, an actress and former minister of culture, is now his caretaker. A highly emotional film, The Eternal Memory is the tale of a man who has fought to prevent national atrocities by the military dictatorship but now struggles to preserve his own memory.

Love & Mathematics (Amor y matemáticas)
Directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce, Mexico, 2022, 85 min., in Spanish with English subtitles
Sunday, April 30 at 5 pm in the Brown Auditorium Theater

Set in Monterrey, this satirical comedy about the ambitions and aspirations of upper-middle-class Mexican society follows former popular boy band member Billy Lozano, who is now a thirtysomething unhappily married man. His suburban routine, consisting of taking care of his infant son and loathing his wife’s poorly behaved lap dog, changes when he meets a fan of the band, who moves next door and inspires him to pick up the guitar again and make sense of his life.

Chile ’76 (1976)
Directed by Manuela Martelli, Chile/Argentina, 2022, 95 min., in Spanish with English subtitles
Sunday, April 30, at 7:30 pm in the Lynn Wyatt Theater

Set during the early days of Pinochet’s dictatorship, Chile ’76 builds from a quiet character study to a gripping suspense thriller as it explores one woman’s precarious flirtation with political engagement. Carmen, a bourgeois housewife, is inadvertently drawn into the dangerous world of political opposition and must face real-world threats that she is unprepared to handle. A hit at numerous film festivals, including Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, the film marks the auspicious debut by director Manuela Martelli.

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