By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Filmmaker Greg Berger will present three short films depicting satirical views of American tourism, queer cinema students' perspectives on being gay in contemporary Mexico, and the impact of legalizing abortion in Mexico City.
The films will be shown Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m., followed by a discussion with Berger, in the Center Room (Room 256) of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.
These three films constitute the program, "Queers, Gringos and other Deviants: New films from Mexico by Greg Berger and students of the Autonomous University of Morelos."
The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Bucknell departments of geography, Latin American studies, sociology and anthropology, and Spanish, the Office of LGBT Awareness, and the University Lectureship Committee.
A decade of documentaries
A professor of film at the State University of Morelos in Mexico, Berger has documented contemporary social issues and political movements in Latin America for the past decade. His documentaries include "Amor en Tiempos de Influenza" ("Love in the Times of Influenza") and "La Rebeldia bajo Sitio" ("Rebellion under Siege").
Berger, who is originally from New York, often uses the persona "Gringoyo" as a tragicomic character to talk about social issues that concern him, including reproductive rights and disaster risk reduction.
His work has been screened at museums, galleries and town squares on five continents, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Getty Museum, Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid, and the Mexico City Zocalo.
Revolutionary Tourist Project
"The legalization of same-sex marriage in Mexico City paved the way for 'Transgresiones y Diversiones,' a selection of shorts produced by students last semester in the first undergraduate 'Queer Cinema' class ever offered in Mexico," said Paul Susman, professor of geography at Bucknell. "Young, queer, first-time filmmakers offer their personal and political visions in these fresh short films."
In times of violent social upheaval in Mexico, Berger's ongoing Revolutionary Tourist Project brings improvised comedy to the streets. "Spring Breakers Sin Miedo" ("Spring Breakers without Fear") and "Jodido México 2010" are two of the latest shorts in this series.
The documentary, "The Right to Choose in Peace," also will be shown. Produced for Latin American network Telesur, the film examines the successful, historic struggle to decriminalize abortion in Mexico City and the current threat of violence to women and physicians posed by the collaboration of the Mexican anti-choice movement with radical right-wing organizations based in the United States.
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