The annual Latino and Iberian Film Festival is underway at Yale University in New Haven this week. There will be dozens of screenings. Filmmakers from across Latin America are in the city.
The film “Nadie Nos Mira (Nobody’s Watching)” offers a fresh, probing look at identity and what it means to be an immigrant. It tells the story of a handsome, white, blond, former Argentinean TV star named Nico who moves to New York City, where he’s struggling.
“This is the story of somebody who is Latino, but doesn’t look like Latino,” said Julia Solomonoff, the director and co-writer of the film. “(Nico) is gay, but is not immediately recognized as gay -- is white and privileged in a way. It’s somebody who doesn’t have a work visa but will never pass as an illegal immigrant on a racial profiling kind of situation. So it's somebody who, because of that invisibility, he can - in a way - explore how we are perceived and how we construct who we are.”
Solomonoff said Nico’s immigrant experience is close to her own.
“In fact, I haven’t even called myself an immigrant yet although it's been 20 years of back and forth between Argentina and U.S.,” she said. “I’m a green card holder. I have two kids that are bi-national. And I still feel like I live in a state of transition.”
Solomonoff teaches film directing at Columbia University in New York City. She said this is an exciting time in Latin American film.
“Most of Latin America has been through dictatorships in the 70s and most of Latin America has come out of dictatorships in the 80s,” she said. “And the 90s were incredible years of democratization, mobilization, and education. And that created new generations of filmmakers that have lot to say.”
And not just about realities viewers may not know, said Solomonoff, but also about situations we all experience in life.
The film “Nadie Nos Mira” will be screened Sunday evening in New Haven.
All movies in the festival are free, open to the public and subtitled in English.