One afternoon at TRF we had a meeting to discuss some potential new social media ideas. Of course, when you’re brainstorming ideas for social media you try to think of things that keep people engaged and entertained – things that will attract a following. We played with and threw around some ideas, and then it occurred to me that a film ‘club’ would be perfect. I thought to myself, who doesn’t like a good movie recommendation? Let’s face it, as amazing as Netflix is with their “suggestions for you” tab, it rarely has anything that you’re actually interested in…in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that has been suggested on there – sorry, Netflix! So, this is where #FilmFriday would come in to save the day.

I’ve always been into films, so I, of course, had no problem with being assigned to this small project. As amateurish as my interest in film is, I do like to think I know a couple of good movies. Back in college, I took some film courses here and there and learned to appreciate the artistic value of a film as well as the importance of a good narrative. The idea behind Film Friday is to recommend good films which may highlight a specific part of Latin American life, culture, art, history, etc. So far, I’ve tried to keep a diverse selection of films in terms of genre, region, language, and release year to – in some way – accurately reflect the diversity of our continent.

If you would indulge me, I’d like to give a quick review on my favorite film so far from the recommendations – and one of my all time favorite movies too. Choosing the first film recommendation for Film Friday was not easy. I wanted to pick a classic that people perhaps had never seen; Black Orpheus (1959) seemed like the perfect choice.

I saw this movie for the first time in a Latin American history course that incorporated films as an important supplemental component to class readings. I thought the film was amazing. It takes the classic Greek tragedy of Orpheus and tells it through a Brazilian narrative, setting the story in the middle of carnaval, the most iconic Brazilian holiday. All throughout the movie, the music, the scenery, and the dancing all evoke an incredible plethora of emotions. In the first stages of the film, for example, both Orfeu and Eurydice continually radiate a beautiful feeling of joy and happiness that is extremely contagious to the viewer. Despite a tragic ending, the last scene with the three children dancing seems reflective of the Brazilian people’s constant positive outlook on life. If you haven’t seen this one yet, I would highly –HIGHLY – recommend it…maybe you’ll end up wanting to sign up to a samba dance class, who knows?

I hope our Film Friday recommendations have been enjoyable so far, stay tuned for more. If you have any recommendations or would like to share some of your own thoughts on some of the films, feel free to reach out to [email protected]. We would love to hear them. Lastly, shout-out to my colleague Sarah Otis– Ixcanul recommendation credits go to her. And one last thing, did I mention today (2/9) is Film Friday’s two-month anniversary?

By: Juan Sucre, Reporting Associate at TRF.  As he mentioned, he loves films and is also an avid soccer fan – he supports FC Barcelona. Juan is a third-culture kid from Caracas, Venezuela.