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I am Joaquin


Dir. Luis Valdez, Color & B/W Sound 00:20:00

Page Contents


The film I AM JOAQUIN adopts the strategy of Gonzalez's text, most of which Valdez himself histrionically recites on the sound track, which also has improvised musical accompaniment by his brother, Daniel. As in the later book version, the contemporary references are illustrated with black-and-white still photographs of the Chicano community by George Ballis, and the historical résumé, with details from Mexican paintings, especially the murals of Orozco, Rivera, and Sisqueiros, with other forms of historical documentation, and with photographs of pre-Columbian sculpture and architecture; it opens with an Olmec mask whose tortured features figure the anguished Chicano soul, and its final words, "I will endure," are accompanied by a photograph of the great pyramid at Tenochtitlán.

[Source: David James, THE MOST TYPICAL AVANT-GARDE, 2005]