wednesday, may 15 AT 7:30pm | FREE ADMISSION (SUGGESTED DONATION: $5)
Forced to run from the Texas Rangers after a heated misunderstanding leads to the death of a lawman, Mexican American farmer Gregorio Cortez sets off in desperate flight, evading a massive manhunt on horseback for days.
“A gripping film that establishes the power of language to both unite and unwittingly divide.” – J Hurtado, Screen Anarchy
Producer-star Edward James Olmos (American Me), seeking to shed new light on a real-life historical incident that had been enshrined in a corrido (folk song), enlisted director Robert M. Young (Alambrista!), a longtime practitioner of socially engaged realism, to helm this trailblazing independent film, a landmark of Chicano cinema. Shifting its perspective between the pursuers and the pursued, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez is a thrilling chase film and a nuanced procedural that peels away the layers of prejudice and myth surrounding Cortez, uncovering the true story of an ordinary man persecuted by the law and transfigured by legend. Based on the book, With a Pistol in his Hand by Américo Paredes, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (recently restored by the Academy Film Archive) was one of the first U.S.-produced films to feature a Latin hero, and is striking today for its timely resonance with current immigration issues. (Dir. by Robert M. Young, 1981, USA, in English and Spanish with no subtitles, 106 mins., Rated PG)