Mount St. Mary’s College’s new FilmFest series kicks off November 12 with a documentary by Marcos McPeek-Villatoro, a two-time Emmy winner and director of journalism and new media at the College. "Tamale Road" will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the Hannon Theater on the Mount's Chalon Campus. The screening, a conversation with the filmmaker, and food concessions are all free and open to the public.
“Tamale Road” follows McPeek-Villatoro, his wife and his children as they travel to El Salvador with their homemade tamales to make new friends among old family. Along the way, they discover many secrets about the Villatoro family’s past, and about the identity of the filmmaker’s home country.
Or, as McPeek-Villatoro describes it in the film’s preview: “‘Tamale Road’ writer Marcos Villatoro is a pocho. Definition: a piece of rotting fruit; a half-breed Latino who knows nothing about his roots. Marcos means to change that. He travels to his other country of El Salvador to search for his roots: his murdered grandfather, his insane grandmother and the massacre that his mother survived.”
“Tamale Road” is the first film to be screened as part of the College’s open-to-the-community series, “Film Fest: A Night of Cinema, Conversation & Tasty Concessions.” Each screening will include a conversation with the filmmaker and an audience question-and-answer session. Complimentary food concessions and parking are also available at each event.
The November 12 screening of “Tamale Road” brings the film "home" to Mount St. Mary's College, where McPeek-Villatoro teaches. Earlier this summer, “Camino Tamalero" made its international debut at the Walking Cinema Film Festival in El Salvador.
“It was a fantastic experience,” McPeek-Villatoro says. “People left the movie feeling more proud of our Salvadoran culture.
“If you say ‘El Salvador,’ many people think, ‘Oooh, that violent place. War, death squads, gangs. How horrible.’ The goal of ‘Tamale Road’ is to show Salvadoran culture. To show ‘la alegría’ ('the joy') of Salvadoran people, in spite of all they've been through.”
McPeek-Villatoro is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair in Writing at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles. In addition to his two Emmys, McPeek-Villatoro is the author of six novels, two collections of poetry and a memoir.
For more info on "Tamale Road," and to see behind-the-scenes photos, thoughts and video, visit www.facebook.com/TamaleRoad. To watch a trailer for the documentary, go to: http://www.marcosvillatoro.com/tamaleroad.html.