By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
Causa Efecto (Cause Effect), which makes its U.S. debut at the festival, explores the concept of destiny by looking at how individual actions impact greater communities as well as the lives of those whose paths they actually cross. The film features snippets of 20 Buenos Aires inhabitants' lives. Each one's decisions influence the lives of the others in one way or another.
The festival's remaining entries are binational in content and/or creation. Documentary Adio Kerida is a search for Cuba's few remaining Sephardic Jews, most of whom left the island and resettled in the United States after the revolution. Director Ruth Behar, whose grandparents were Jewish emigrants to the island, and who left Cuba for the United States as a child, also looks for Jewish Cubans, known as "Jubans," living in the United States.
German director Uli Gaulke takes viewers into the gritty heart of Cuba's capital in Havana Mi Amor by giving some inhabitants the opportunity to share their lives with the rest of the world. Although the film never directly criticizes Castro, the documentary has reportedly been banned in Cuba because of subtle criticism. For example, during a phone call to a love interest in Canada, an interviewee notes he has spent his entire monthly salary on the long-distance call. Vistas is the film's Texas premiere. The short German and Ukrainian documentary Introduction explores the problem of violence in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Vistas also features retrospectives on the work of Mexican film diva Maria Felix, who died last April at age 88, and Dallas native Trini Lopez, best known for his 1960s hit song If I Had a Hammer and for co-starring in The Dirty Dozen. Lopez is attending his retrospective, featuring clips from a number of his films, including The Dirty Dozen, Marriage on the Rocks and Antonio, in which he co-starred with Larry Hagman.
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