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Two upcoming POV documentaries spotlight Latinos

LatinaLista — There was a time when documentaries were considered the “nerds” of the film genre.
No more. Nowadays, documentaries are as popular as the latest action adventure films. They just don’t tell a good story — they tell a true story.
With truth being a high commodity these days, along with visual entertainment, documentaries are a genre whose time has come. One organization that is synonymous with documentaries is the Public Broadcasting System or PBS.
PBS has a series called POV (Point of View) which are nothing but documentaries that showcase the diversity in perspectives that exist in the USA.
Two upcoming POV documentaries: The Last Conquistador and The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez both take place along the Texas-Mexico border.
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Esequiel Hernandez
Scheduled for broadcast on July 8, 2008, The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez is about the 1997 incident where 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez was tending his family’s goat herd when he was mistakenly shot by Marines who had been dispatched to patrol the border to look for drug smugglers and undocumented border crossers.
Esequiel, a US citizen, was the first American in US history to die on native soil since the infamous 1970 Kent State shootings.
Yet, the aftermath of Esequiel’s death impacted beyond measure his family, community and the notion of militarizing the border.
In this day and age, as the debate renews on how best to protect the border, The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez provides a lesson of what can happen when public policy doesn’t allow for the realities of life.
The second film this summer that takes place along the Texas-Mexico border is titled The Last Conquistador and is about a sculptor who has spent the last 10 years creating the world’s tallest bronze equestrian statue for the city of El Paso, Texas.
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The sculptor and his Conquistador work of art.
(Photo: Luis J. Jimenez)

He chose as his subject the Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate. The idea for choosing this conquistador was to have his symbolize the contributions of Hispanic people in the creation of the American West. Unfortunately, the sculptor didn’t do his homework very well or otherwise, he would have learned that Oñate was considered a murderer by the Native Americans in the region.
Known for cutting the feet off of his prisoners and selling young Native Americans into slavery, among other barbaric practices, a statue in Oñate’s honor is the last thing area Native Americans want erected — that it happens to be the world’s tallest statue just pours salt into a wound that never healed throughout the generations.
Check your local listings in July to see what channel you can catch these worthwhile films.

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