Lourdes Portillo comes to Philly

Al Más Allá

Monday, November 1, 2010 – 7:00pm
ticket price:
additional ticket info:
$8 seniors/students; $5 Scribe members


Prince Music Theater/Independent Black Box
1412 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA, 19102

See map: Google Maps

Director Lourdes Portillo in person

At the center of Al Más Allá is an allegory of three Mexican fishermen. After absconding with illegal drugs that wash ashore on the Mayan coast, they sell them to the corrupt local police for a handsome sum. An experimental documentary that uses fictional elements, Al Más Allá places the personal moral degeneration of the fishermen in the political context of a nation struggling on the edge of the global economy. Pulled in the direction of other Caribbean resort communities, Mexico’s underdeveloped Mayan coast is quickly becoming both a lavish playground of the international leisure class and a major conduit for illegal drugs in transit from South America to U.S. markets.

To investigate this tumultuous and transformative moment in Mexico, director Lourdes Portillo humorously employs a fictional crew lead by a vain and blindly arrogant documentary filmmaker played by famed Mexican actress Ofelia Medina. Real interviews with tourist guides, merchants, and American expats about the corruption and violence caused by drug trafficking are interspersed with stylized narrative scenes that reveal the filmmaker’s preoccupations and personal ambitions. Lyrical, visually intriguing, and entertaining, Al Más Allá is at once reportage into the expansive world of drug trafficking across Mexico and an ironic indictment of the cult of the documentary filmmaker whose romantic visions of herself and her mission often obscures the very truth she seeks. (US, 2008, 43 minutes, Spanish and English with Subtitles)

Also Screening:

El Sol Sale Para Todos

Directed by Leticia Roa Nixon (in person), Carlos Pascual (in person) and Laura Deutch (in person)

El Sol Sale chronicles the rapid growth of the Mexican community in the historically immigrant neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Told through the first hand experiences of the main subjects who have been a formative part of this development over the last 20 years, a collective story of the community unfolds. However with growth and assimilation, come problems, resistance and efforts to organize. El Sol Sale presents stories from the subjects’ memories, reflections and perspectives about the complexity of searching for a better life in a country that is not one’s own. (US, 2010, 40 minutes)

***On Tuesday, November 2, 7:00 PM, Lourdes Portillo will teach a Master Class on new and innovative ways to approach documentary filmmaking. MORE INFO


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