Monday - May 27, 2019

German Film Festival screens film looking at Mexican emigration to the U.S.

by the El Reportero news services

Salma HayekSalma Hayek

The drama of Mexican immigration to the United States is depicted in “Los Angeles,” a film by American director John Harper that honors the largely forgotten figures of that exodus.

Harper lived for long periods in the Zapotec Indian town of Santa Ana del Valle in southern Mexico, where he shot the film.

The director dispensed with professional actors for the work and wanted the residents of the town to play the characters.

“They are people with a lot of heart. They are intelligent people with a profound humanity,” Harper told Efe, adding that he was “affected (by) … such a strong” community where “they take care of each other.”

The film, which is in the Forum category at the film festival in Germany’s capital, uses both the Zapotec and Spanish languages and tells the story of Mateo, a 17-year-old boy who dreams of traveling to the U.S. city that gives the film its name in search of a better future for himself and his family.

Harper’s work, on the other hand, also captures the lives of the people who return to their hometown after many years only to realize that they have become strangers there, and it also deals with the role of mothers, who are defined in the film as the true supporting figures in the Zapotec community.

“I know several men who were away for a long time, worked, returned and there was a lot of conflict,” Harper said.

The emigrants encounter difficulties upon returning and having “once again (to find) their niche within the family, within the community, within the society,” the director said.

Salma Hayek joins cast of “The Septembers of Shiraz”

Mexican actress Salma Hayek has been cast in the political drama “The Septembers of Shiraz,” the story of a Jewish family caught up in Iran’s 1981 Islamic revolution, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Hayek will be accompanied in the cast by Shoreh Aghdashloo, a 2003 Oscar nominee for “House of Sand and Fog.” The movie, an adaptation of the like-named novel by Dalia Sofer, will be directed by Wayne Blair (“The Sapphires”).

Actor Gerard Butler will produce the film together with partners Alan Siegel and Heidi Jo Markel.

The thriller is based on events that really happened – Sofer was 10 years old when her family escaped from Iran – and centers on the character of a gem merchant in prison who fights to rejoin the rest of his family to leave Tehran.

Hayek plays the long-suffering wife of the main character (a part not yet cast), while Aghdashloo represents the housekeeper whose son once worked for the man in jail.

The filming is planned to start in April.

The Mexican actress will soon be seen in a small role in “Muppets Most Wanted,” to premiere March 21.

“I have a very little cameo,” Hayek said recently. “But I’m very excited because I’m (my daughter Valentina’s) hero now.”

Argentina sets record for longest salami in the Americas

Argentina now holds the record for making the longest salami in the Americas, after presenting a spicy sausage 16 meters (52 feet) long and weighing 45 kilos (100 pounds) at a festival in the town of Tandil in Buenos Aires province, the organizers told Efe.

The salami was presented Friday evening by the Council of the Guarantee of Quality “Salame de Tandil” at the Sierra Festival in that town some 350 kilometers (220 miles) south of the Argentine capital, council spokesman Mariano Frias told Efe.

Salame de Tandil is made with raw materials from this mountainous region, located some 350 kilometers (220 miles) south of Buenos Aires, and is between 54 and 60 percent pork, between 18 and 21 percent beef, and 20-25 percent pork fat.