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Bookmark and ShareFilm screening: LUPE UNDER THE SUN with commentary by writer/director Rodrigo Reyes
Still from "Lupe Under the Sun," written and directed by Rodrigo Reyes
A still from "Lupe Under the Sun" directed by Rodrigo Reyes

Film screening and discussion with director/writer Rodrigo Reyes: "Lupe Under the Sun" (Lupe Bajo El Sol)
7 p.m. Friday, February 2, 2018
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus, Albany

Rodrigo Reyes' LUPE UNDER THE SUN (LUPE BAJO EL SOL) won two top prizes at the 2017 Brooklyn Film Festival - Best Film and Best Narrative Feature.

Rodrigo ReyesReyes' debut fiction feature (Mexico/United States, 2016, no rating, 78 minutes, color, in Spanish with English subtitles), inspired by the life of his own grandfather, tells the story of the grinding routine of Lupe, an aging Mexican migrant worker in southern California as he comes to terms with his past and desperately wants to return to Mexico one last time before he dies. The film is the first-of-its-kind drama to use non-actors who are real farm workers.

LUPE UNDER THE SUN is saturated with beautiful imagery and outstanding poetic rhythm and offers a portrait of immigrant solitude and nostalgia. In an interview with Filmmaker magazine, Reyes said, "Style is the seed of fiction... Documentaries now fully wield the double-edged sword of being grounded in reality, yet deeply personal and auteur-driven at the same time." He continued, "Many of these folks live in a bubble, a parallel world to the mainstream life of the town. Lupe, for instance, is consumed by work. His routine is overwhelming. And on Sundays, when he does go out, he is like an alien in the world, riding his bike through the park, nice neighborhoods and restaurants. He is a ghost who cannot connect with regular life. And to my eye, Merced and the many towns of the Central Valley are full of ghosts like Lupe."

LUPE UNDER THE SUN won the Best Film and Best Narrative Feature awards at the 2017 Brooklyn Film Festival. In remarks on LUPE published on its web site, the festival organizers said, "Rodrigo Reyes's Lupe Under the Sun is a story that transcends boundaries and also marks boundaries between cultural systems...The film brings us inside of the migrant's dilemma. We feel with him. Rodrigo's camera allows us to create a moment with Lupe in which we start to experience our own desire to reach out to him and connect. More than being a poetic story, it's an invitation to question the times we are living."

Rodrigo Reyes was born in Mexico City and attended college at UC San Diego, as well as in Madrid and Mexico City. Some of his films have been made under challenging circumstances. He walked 100 miles in four days to follow pilgrims to the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and spent four weeks on the road documenting life along the Mexico-US border. His films include the science-fiction documentary MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE (2012) and PURGATORIO: A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF THE BORDER (2013).

Cosponsored by the Mohawk Regional Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Program (METS) of the New York State Department of Education.


For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620.

Trailer: Lupe Under the Sun from RR Cinema on Vimeo.