Monday, June 04, 2012

Film, Video Provide U.S. Audiences with Glimpse of Mexico’s Brutal Cristero War

FROM BILINGUAL REVIEW PRESS: On Friday, June 1, 2012, a new film opened in U.S. theaters that tells the inspiring and heart-wrenching story of the Cristero War, or La Cristiada (1926-1929).

Starring Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, and Peter O’Toole, For Greater Glory depicts a brutal episode in Mexico’s history when an atheist government sought to destroy the Catholic Church’s influence on the people and culture. Through repressive laws and public executions of priests, the regime tried to expel Catholics, but it did not expect the uprising that began with peaceful resistance and eventually led to formal violent confrontations.

As part of a research project on the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and its aftermath, the Arizona State University Hispanic Research Center looked into La Cristiada and included it in an hour-long documentary, Revolution and Its Culture: 1910-1929. The 11-minute segment about the Cristero War includes rare footage of actual events and can be found on YouTube here.  It is best if watched on full screen.

For more information, contact Amy Phillips of Bilingual Review Press at

Bilingual Review Press publishes literary works, scholarship, and art books by or about U.S. Hispanics under the name Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.  The press also produces the literary/scholarly journal Bilingual Review.


◙ Nick Depascal of the Tucson Weekly reviews Fred Arroyo’s new collection of short stories, Western Avenue and Other Fictions (University of Arizona Press), calling it “a quick, quiet and affecting work that painfully and beautifully captures the immigrant work experience in America,” and notes: “In his accomplished blending of narrative and lyric impulses, Fred Arroyo has crafted a collection of stories that deserves careful reading to tease out all of the nuances and techniques that make the package so engaging.”

◙ An excerpt of Estella González’s novel-in-progress, Angry Blood, appears in Kweli Journal.

◙ Over at the El Paso Times, Ramón Rentería writes about a curious week in El Chuco.

◙ Carlos E. Cortés, author of a new memoir, Rose Hill: An Intermarriage Before Its Time (Heyday Books), is interviewed over at Heyday Books' blog.  The son of a Mexican Catholic father with aristocratic roots and a mother of Eastern European Jewish descent, Cortés grew up torn between cultures, living a childhood in “constant crossfire-straddling borders, balancing loves and loyalties, and trying to fit into a world that wasn’t quite ready.”  Cortés is a professor emeritus of history at the University of California, Riverside.  He is the author of The Children Are Watching: How the Media Teach about Diversity, and is the general editor of the Sage Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, due out in 2013.  His memoir offers a fascinating look at his upbringing within a multicultural home, and my own interview with Cortés will appear in La Bloga soon.

◙ Well, this is literary award season, and I am delighted to note that my novel, The Book of Want (University of Arizona Press), has been honored.  It has been awarded the Silver Medal for Multicultural Adult Fiction, 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and was a first place winner, Romantic Comedy category, in the 2012 Latino Books into Movies contest.  My novel is also a semifinalist in the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award, and a finalist, International Latino Book Awards, Best Popular Fiction - English.  I thank everyone who has supported my little book, especially the wonderful people at the University of Arizona Press.  Oh, and The Book of Want is now available as a Google e-book!

◙ A nice note from Robert Birnbaum of The Morning News:

“[M]y lifelong preoccupation with Cuban culture (food, cigars and rum, music, politics, literature, sports, movies, art, did I say music) made my attraction to Oscar Hijuelos' second novel, The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love (1989) instantaneous and durable. Thus, I have been reading his fiction ever since.  Oscar and I continued a conversation we began in 1992 on the occasion of the publication of his memoir Thoughts Without Cigarettes (you'll never guess where the title came from).”

You may read Robert Birnbaum’s conversation with Oscar Hijuelos here.  Enjoy!

All done. So, until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from my compadres y comadres at La Bloga.  And don't forget: ¡Lea un libro!

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