quick note on the three burials of melquiades estrada

Had some time to watch The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada this weekend. I’ve been meaning to watch more Latino themed films for the blog. I admired Guillermo Arriaga’s screenplay which I read won best of at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. I enjoyed the fractured sense of time and how we see the same event from several points of view and out of sequence. The same fractured sense of time he brought to the 21 Grams screenplay and also Babel. A couple of other films I’ve watched and admired.

More so than the other films written by Arriaga I admired the representation of Mexico and the Mexican people. The film presented Melquiades as well as other Mexican workers as hard-working and human. Also presented them as complex. A representation unfortunately difficult to find in film. I also admired the character of Norton the Border Patrol Agent and how he was forced to experience something similar to an immigrant’s travels across the border. As in Babel we see characters forced to experience something outside of their social class or outside of their particular bias. We’re immersed in characters as their consciousness expands. I also admired Tommy Lee Jones’ direction even though he’s not known for direction. I’d like to write more on this film and more on Arriaga’s other scripts as I have the time.

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john paul jaramillo

John Paul Jaramillo’s debut story collection The House of Order was named a 2013 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalist, and his most recent work Little Mocos is now available from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. He is currently a professor of composition and literature at Lincoln Land College-Springfield, Illinois.

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