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The Gringo in Mañanaland

Director DeeDee Halleck
Year: 1995
Director/Producer: DeeDee Halleck
Screenplay and Editing: DeeDee Halleck, Nathalie Magnan, CheChe Martinez
Research and Development: Pennee Bender, DeeDee Halleck, Bob Summers
Running Time: 61 minutes
How we view Latin America cannot help but be affected by how it has been projected in film since the turn of the century. Filmmaker DeeDee Halleck has compiled the essential Latin American stereotypes into a documentary that is a comedy, a melodrama, an adventure story and finally, a tragic farce. Clips from over eighty dramatic and industrial films are arranged to lay out the essential myths: the hero discovers paradise and bananas, he has a problem with bandits and women, he calls in the marines, the bandits cooperate, and the good neighbors are happy. These images shaped not only how Americans viewed Latin Americans, but through exportation, also affected how Latin Americans view themselves. Through juxtaposition and irony, the film demonstrates cultural imperialism at work.
Halleck has been called "the godmother of the alternative political video." Along with being a professor of communications at the University of California at San Diego, she's also the producer of Paper Tiger Television, the legendary national public access series.

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Email: dhalleck@ucsd.edu