Viewing and Discussion of Alsino and the Condor – January 18
Please join us for a viewing and discussion of the film Alsino and the Condor (1982) depicting the Contra War of the 1980s in Nicaragua through the experience of a young boy at the next Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project and Hartford Public Library reading group in the ground floor classroom of the library, 500 Main St., on Wed., Jan. 18, from 12:30 to 2:15 P.M. A discussion will follow the viewing of this Spanish-language film with English subtitles. Part of the library’s Bridging Cultures Series, the program is free. Participants are welcome to bring brown bag lunches.
The film shows the fighting in remote mountains between supporters of the new Sandinista government and the Contras, the latter allied with the U.S. military. Seeing the helicopters, the young boy yearns to fly like a condor. The contrast between the violence of the war and the dreams of the boy to fly gives a poetic cast to the film.
Directed by the exiled Chilean Miguel Littin, Alsino and the Condor was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1983. Producers from Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Cuba cooperated in making the film.
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The Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project is a story of two cities reaching out to each other, one in Nicaragua, Central America, the other Connecticut in the United States. It begins in 1986 when the Hartford Ocotal Sister City Project(HOSCP) was established with the help of the Capitol Region Conference of Churches and moves forward again in 1995 when the Project began providing seed money for a micro-lending program called FUNAFAM, which is based on the Grameen Bank model. Financial support from this program has helped hundreds of Ocotal women start small businesses of their own.
Over a period of 25 years HOSCP has used contributions to help fund the following programs, evolving from direct material aid to self-help initiatives:
- Material aid shipments in conjunction with the New Haven-Leon SCP
- Educational events
- Helping to fund the purchase of an ambulance
- Helping to fund the clean water project
- Hurricane Mitch relief
- FUNAFAM, a microcredit program based on the Grameen Bank model. Loaning small amounts of money to individuals starting small businesses
- Health education programs in outlying areas surrounding Ocotal
Many of the founders of the HOSCP are still active in the work. The sister-city commitment does not go out of fashion, nor does it cease to inspire those involved.
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