Film preview is a blending of cultures

2013-04-25T09:29:00Z Film preview is a blending of culturesContributed by Amanda Taylor
April 25, 2013 9:29 am  • 

HAMMOND | Having already spread throughout the Mexican community like wildfire, the triumphant film “La Otra Conquista” (“The Other Conquest”) will make its Midwest premiere at the Towle Theater in Hammond, Indiana, on April 26.

Directed by Salvador Carrasco, “La Otra Conquista” depicts the Spanish conquest of the Americas led by by Hernán Cortés and the end of the Aztec civilization. In 1520, Cortés led his soldiers to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan where they massacred thousands of innocent civilians, claiming the city for their own. In the years following, the Spaniards forced the Aztecs to abandon their own spirituality and convert to Christianity or else be put to death.

Winner of the director’s Special Jury Award at the San Antonio Cinefestival in 1999, Carrasco has given years of his life to making this dream film become a reality. It took nearly ten years for this film to be made, with a limited budget of $3.5 million. Each scene is proof of Carrasco’s passion and dedication to this project in which he pays homage to the blending of the Spanish and Mexican cultures. At its original release in 1999 at the Guadalajara Film Festival, the film shattered box office records in Mexico, grossing $2 million. Released the following year in Los Angeles, the film made $1 million at the box office and was selected as one of The Los Angeles Times’ Top 10 Films of 2000.

As part of Purdue University Calumet’s Foreign Film series, the premiere of “La Otra Conquista” serves as the first collaboration between Purdue and the Towle Theatre. Foreign Language Department professor Steve Lombardo has been leading the film series for many years and hopes that this premiere will be the start of a promising and rewarding relationship between Purdue and the Towle Theater. He is hoping the theater will become a place for students and the community where they can see films they wouldn’t typically get a chance to see.

The premiere of La Otra Conquista also serves as the concluding ceremony of the photography exhibit, “In the Shadow of Cortés” which is on display at the Purdue University Calumet library through April 30th. The exhibit documents the people, landmarks, and rare artifacts along the route from Veracruz to Mexico City; the very same route Cortés himself traveled. Previously on display in Chicago’s prestigious Newberry Library, “In the Shadow of Cortés” also displays interviews from people living along the route of Cortés, and provides a link from the past and its influence on the present Mexican culture.

All members of the community are invited to attend the Midwest premiere of “La Otra Conquista” on Friday, April 26th at 5:00 p.m. at the Towle Theater in Hammond. In celebration of the film’s opeing east of the Colorado River, Director Salvador Carrasco will also be in attendance at the Towle and will introduce the film.

According to Professor Lombardo, “For Mexican people to move forward, they must embrace their own mixed heritage” La Otra Conquista” embodies this precept..

“La Otra Conquista” will be shown at the Towle Theatre in Hammond, IN, on April 26. The program begins at 5 p.m. with hors d’oevres and drinks. Purdue University Chancellor Thomas Keon will provide the opening remarksat 5:30 pm, announcing the collaboration between PUC, the City of Hammond, and the Towle Theatre.

Following Keon’s opening remarks, Director Carrasco will provide an introduction to the film. Carrasco and Exhibit Director Kathleen Myers will be available for discussion following the film. The film, which runs for 105 minutes and contains scenes of violence and sex, is expected to start at approximately 6:30 pm.

The program is free and open to the public.

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