Spanish film festival to screen five films

The Spanish Film Festival will screen five Spanish films on campus free of charge to the community. The Shield spoke with David Hitchcock, associate professor of Spanish, about the background of the film festival and themes between the pictures.

The Shield: What’s the origin of the Spanish film festival?

Hitchcock: The World Languages and Cultures department began a cycle of films several years ago. We decided to alternate between the three primary languages: French, German and Spanish. The languages have been taking turns, and we’ve seen a really good response.

The Shield: Is there a connecting theme between the range of films?

Hitchcock: The theme this year is “estrangement.” Each of the five films touches on people who are separated, whether from their family or others or their home countries. So many of the films are co-productions between countries, like Spain, Argentina, Paraguay and the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The Shield: What made the department select this theme?

Hitchcock: These are concerns with globalization; not only is this in the U.S., but the U.K. with Brexit, and other European countries questioning policies of immigration. There’s a sense that instead of coming together, we’re becoming farther apart.

The Shield: How will attending the film festival be beneficial to students?

Hitchcock: All the films are in Spanish, so Spanish students will see situations actually acted out. In all of the films there are universal themes. The animated film we’re showing deals with old age, so anyone with grandparents can relate.

The Shield: If there are students unsure about whether they will be able to understand the language, what would you say to them?

Hitchcock: One thing to keep in mind is that these are professionally made films, and the technical aspects are state of the art. They tell interesting stories and take a look at cultures perhaps different than our own, but there are common themes of justice and freedom. There’s a range of emotions displayed and there’s humor. None of the films are so artsy that students will be lost. They’re very human stories.