Monday, August 1, 2011
Tucson filmmakers Ari Luis Palos and Eren Isabel McGinnis' documentary Precious Knowledge, about Tucson Unified School District's battle over and heart of Mexican American Studies, is making the film festival rounds.
The latest screening at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival earned the documentary an honorable mention, a standing ovation and some kind words from Edward James Olmos.
A deeply moved audience gave the producer and participants of the documentary film "Precious Knowledge" highly enthusiastic applause when they appeared on stage following the screening of the film at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF). Actor and Producer Edward James Olmos, one of the founders of LALIFF, said the film fulfilled the purpose of the Festival.
"It is to give venues to films like "Precious Knowledge" that the festival exists," Olmos said. "There are many film festivals in the world but very few devoted to Latino films. I believe LALIFF is the greatest Latino Film Festival in the world."
Mexican American Studies (MAS) teacher José Gonzalez and two former students who were featured in the documentary, Crystal Terriquez and Pricilia Rodriguez, joined producer Eren Isabel McGinnis on stage to take questions from the audience.
Teachers and students, along with family members, including the head of the Mexican American studies department Sean Arce and others, were part of a contingent that had driven to Los Angeles from Tucson to attend the premier.
"Precious Knowledge" gives it's viewers a front seat into the lives of Tucson high school students and their teachers who are on the front lines of a current civil rights battle to ban Mexican American studies in Arizona.
A community screening, as part of a fund raising effort to support the legal challenge against the law banning the MAS program, was held at Self Help Graphics in East L.A. Wednesday night.