Sunday, June 04, 2006


BiFF: day 2

After watching the Mets lose game 1 of their rain-delayed doubleheader against the Giants and the Yankees squeeze out a victory in Baltimore with a desperate Joe Torre using Chien-Ming Wang to get the save, I hailed a cab and directed the driver to the Brooklyn Museum so I could catch the 9 pm screening of Beth Bird's Everyone Their Grain of Sand. Things were running a tad late, so I chugged a Brooklyn Lager and enjoyed the salsa rhythms of Sonido Costeno, who were the featured band at the musuem's wildly popular "First Saturday" party.

The movie was worth the wait. Despite an annoying hum in the sound system, I was mesmerized by Bird's account of the activist struggle of Mexicans who live just east of Tijuana in an area called Maclovio Rojas. Her camera follows companeros fighting to retain their community as multi-national corporations eat up much of the area south of the US- Baja border and employ factory workers as virtual slave laborers. Sadly, the Mexican government's duplicitous tactics resulted in the jailing of one of Maclovio Rojas' leaders (she was arrested for "stealing" water from the Tijuana Aqueduct) and forced others into hiding. Bird, who answered questions after the screening, said the struggle continues for these truly sympathetic people.

Today's featured movies at the Brooklyn International Film Festival are Joseph Matthews and Dan DeVivo's Crossing Arizona (5:30 pm), Bent Hamer's Factotum (7:30 pm) and Azazel Jacobs' The GoodTimesKid (9:30 pm). All three are narrative features. I've already seen Factotum, which is based on a Charles Bukowski book and stars Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor. I highly recommend it.

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