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Traveling film fest to focus on social issues

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Super Amigos examines five former professional wrestlers in Mexico City who assume the personas of superheroes to fight injustice.

The Margaret Mead Traveling Film Festival arrives at California State University, Long Beach’s William Link Theater (formerly the University Theatre) for its first visit on Thursday, March 12, through Saturday, March 14.
Admission to the festival’s films is free and open to the public. The series opens each night at 5:30pm and runs through 7:30pm on Thursday and Friday and until 8pm in its conclusion on Saturday.
“This festival screens some of the best examples of ethnographic film made in the last several years,” says festival organizer Steven Russo-Schindler, assistant professor of anthropology at CSULB. “This festival is the only one of its kind in the world. For audiences interested in documentary films and who want to know more about the world outside the United States, this is something they will love.”
The film series will feature: Grito de Piedra (Scream of the Stone) (2006), which profiles the legendary silver city of Potosi and how its economically destitute silver mines have been opened as a tourist destination for visitors to Bolivia; Stranger Comes to Town (2007), a video that re-purposes animation from the Department of Homeland Security, combining them with stories from the border, images from the online game World of Warcraft and journeys via Google Earth to tell a tale of bodies moving through lands familiar and strange;
Super Amigos (2007) examines five former professional wrestlers in Mexico City who don the personas of superheroes to fight injustice and inspire others within their local communities; Village of Dust, City of Water (2006) is a lyrical and chilling cinematic poem about social exploitation over access to water in India where rural water supplies that are redistributed to serve cities and communities are displaced to create dams.
The series concludes Saturday, March 14 at 5:30pm with a double feature of The Water Front (2007), which visits Highland Park, Michigan, where local activists fight to keep their community’s water from being privatized, and Gimme Green (2006), which offers a close look at the American obsession with lawns and their impact on our environment, our wallets and our outlook on life.
The festival will draw strength from screening in Long Beach. “Previous screenings were in USC in downtown LA and that’s not always the most attractive place for a film festival,” he explained. “By hosting the festival here in Long Beach, we offer a chance to see films that don’t often find an outlet here. This is a chance to show there are more fans of documentary film making than university students.”
Rousso-Schindler encourages the university community to attend. “The Margaret Mead Traveling Film Festival offers something different for audiences used to movies full of explosions,” he said. “This is a chance to learn something good about the world.”

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Traveling film fest to focus on social issues