[PAST EVENT] The Duke of the Bachata / El duque de la bachata (2009), film screening

November 3, 2016
Botetourt Theatre, Swem Library, ground floor

In his third documentary film, The Duke of the Bachata, filmmaker Adam Taub follows Joan Soriano as he struggles to become an internationally famous bachata musician. Moving between the Dominican Republic and the United States, the film explores both Soriano's personal history and the complex evolution of bachata, a musical genre that emerged in the wake of the repressive Trujillo dictatorship. Bent on becoming a star and thus improving the lives of the extended family he leaves behind in the rural Dominican Republic, Soriano provides a charismatic center for the film. As he struggles to build a reputation that can measure up to other world-famous Dominican musicians, Soriano faces potentially overwhelming pressure?he knows that his entire family is counting on him to help them rise out of poverty. The Duke of the Bachata presents an intimate look at bachata's place within Dominican culture and explores how music came to constitute the core of the Soriano family. But the true strength of The Duke of the Bachata comes from Taub's ability to balance the struggles of one young musician against larger questions of class struggle, consumerism and artistic production.

Synopsis by April Miller.

This event has been made possible by the support of the Reves Center for International Studies, the Roy R Charles Center for Academic Excellence, Dean Homza, Hispanic Studies, Latin American Studies, Film & Media Studies, Africana Studies, and Anthropology.


Christina Baker, Visiting Assistant Professor, Hispanic Studies [[w|cebaker01]]