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Filmmaker speaks to SUU audience
by Holly Coombs holly@ironcountytoday.com
Feb 21, 2017 | 306 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Award-winning, independent filmmaker Cristina Ibarra spoke in the SUU Convocation Series last Tuesday at the R. Haze Hunter Conference Center’s Gilbert Great Hall.

Ibarra presented discussion on her film in progress called “The Wall,” as well as her new film, “Las Marthas.” The films, which have aspired from her hometown in El Paso, Texas, hit home to the living on the border of Mexico, according to a press release and introduction made by an SUU student prior to her presentation.

She had the passion at taking a closer look at the Hispanic and Colonial traditions that have been taking place for over a century.

Ibarra, a Chicana filmmaker, has been active for the past 14 years, creating, directing, and producing award-winning independent films on the U.S.-Mexico border. Her hometowns of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, both being on the U.S.-Mexico border, are the cause for her films being extremely personal and captivating.

Along with her newest film, “Las Marthas,” she is the creator of the PBS Documentary, The Last Conquistador, the short fiction, Dirty Laundry, and several short interstitials for the New York International Latino Film Festival.

She described her work as a combination of “the dramatic, documentary and spectacle, in order to examine culture through a new lens.”

In light of the International Film Festival at SUU, Ibarra shared clips of some of her films and shared the uniqueness of the culture she has grown up with. Clips she shared of” The Wall” showed many actors she had participated to show an inside look at a few of the 250 detention centers holding illegal immigrants in the United States.

“There are 250 detention centers in the United States holding approximately 400,000 immigrants,” she said. “There have been many mysterious deaths and lawyers cannot get in.”

Ibarra said she has liked to embrace the playfulness of serious situations with her films and bring it to American audiences that they might understand what life is like at the border of the country.

“I have always wanted to find a way I could use film as a bridge to an American audience and also a way to go home,” she said.

The public were welcome to ask questions and Susan Smith-Alleman, retired Reverend of St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, said she would love to contribute in any way to help Ibarra continue doing her work to bring awareness and help to the border.

One question asked by an audience member was how others can learn from the border life?

Ibarra said treating people in this country well and do more work to help those who need it at the border. Ibarra continued to say that being aware and helping where possible is important.

“The stories and lives of the people that Ibarra has explored and learned about help to illustrate the connection of caring families that span across the border trying to keep connections alive,” according to a press release about her lecture. “Above all it has been important to Ibarra, her friends, and team to keep the stories true and to, ‘unravel the layers of identity, legacy, and history that makes this event so meaningful to folks.’”

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