The Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies sponsored a free film screen and Q&A with filmmaker Jesse Freeston on Friday, October 9, 2015. Freeston’s documentary film, “Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley,” (2014) and the Q&A session greatly enhanced my lessons for ALCS100, “Cultures in Latin America” for the unit on “Independence and Revolutions.”

That Friday, my class covered the Mexican Revolution with themes of land, solidarity, corruption, politics, coloniality and decoloniality-- each theme that is present in the film. “Resistencia” brought our historical class discussion to a current context by showing that the same power dynamics exist, that is still coloniality exists, only the people, places and time have changed. Jesse himself represents decoloniality and solidarity by sharing his life’s journey as a filmmaker and photojournalist and by traveling throughout the U.S. speaking at other universities. The film and Jesse were both accessible, inspiring, and brought awareness to the issues in the Aguan Valley of Honduras. This event especially hit home for students as one of the men portrayed in the film, Juan Orlando Hernández, is Honduras’s current president and is known for an oppressive rule in continuing the violence against Hondurans-- and is SUNY Albany graduate just a few decades ago.

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