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Co-presented by the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles

Verbena trágica

Actors Fernando Soler and Luana de Alcañiz speaking by a window.
May 13, 2021 - 4:00 pm

The film and conversation will be available for viewing after the livestream until June 3.

Verbena trágica

Block Party

U.S., 1939

Cantabria Films’ second independent production (the first being La Vida Bohemia, 1938) was very successful in the cinemas of Los Angeles’ Mexican neighborhoods, although the narrative takes place in New York City’s Spanish Harlem. On the eve of Columbus Day celebrations, the boxer Mateo (Fernando Soler) returns home from a stint in prison and realizes that his wife is pregnant, and he can’t be the father. His wife Blanca (Luana de Alcañiz) has in fact been having a secret affair with her sister Lola’s fiancé, Claudio (Juan Torena). Mateo confronts his wife, but she refuses to name the father, leading to tragic results. Produced at the Grand National Studios, Mexican actor Fernando Soler is playing against type, earning him kudos from the Spanish-language press. Other actors come from Spain, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines, making Verbena trágica an ode to New York’s diverse Latinx community.

This one-time live screening of the film will be followed by a conversation with Latina/o media and art and Latin American cinema historian Colin Gunckel and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television lecturer Maria Elena de las Carreras, who both served as curators for the Archive’s 2017 program, Recuerdos de un cine en español: Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles. The conversation will be moderated by Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles program manager and screenwriter Guido Segal.

Note adapted from text written by Jan-Christopher Horak in 2017.

B&w, in Spanish with English subtitles, 85 min. Director: Charles Lamont. Screenwriter: Jean Bart, Miguel de Zárraga. With: Fernando Soler, Luana de Alcañiz, Juan Torena.


The Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles’ 2021 programs are made possible with funds from

    Bal-Sol Enterprises