Lourdes Portillo: Una vida de directora 

May 12 – 21, 2023

Lourdes Portillo, photo © Antonio Scarlata

For over four decades, Mexican-born and Los Angeles–raised writer-director-producer Lourdes Portillo has crafted nuanced film and video works that center the emotions and circumstances of diverse Latinx experiences. One of the few Chicana/o filmmakers of the 1970s still working today, Portillo has evolved her craft and expanded her interests to reinvent the form and ethos of activist filmmaking with her exceedingly independent approach to production and storytelling. From her fictional window into the life of a female Nicaraguan refugee to her Oscar-nominated documentary on the mothers of Argentina’s desaparecidos, Portillo’s works defy categorization, slipping easily between docufiction, experimental video, and the melodrama of telenovelas. As scholar Rosa-Linda Fregoso writes, “Portillo’s stylistic signature is [a] defiance of categories and borders,” a truth expressed both formally and through her ongoing commitment to the Spanish-speaking diaspora. To complement Portillo’s vignette in the Significant Movies and Moviemakers gallery of our Stories of Cinema exhibition, this series offers a chance to experience key works from the installation in our theaters. 

Community partnership support provided by NALIP and El Cine.

Programmed and notes by K.J. Relth-Miller.