University of Louisville’s Latin American Film Festival
Red Gringo (Gringo Rojo)
Directed by Miguel Ángel Vidaurre
“A fascinating look back at one of the United States’ most peculiar 20th century pop phenomena.”—Andrew S. Vargas, Remezcla
Reminiscent of Searching for Sugarman, director Miguel Ángel Vidaurre’s self-described “pop memory exercise” follows North American singer Dean Reed’s surprising and unlikely political transformation after learning of the brutality and repression of United States-supported regimes in South America.
Born in Lakewood, Colorado, Reed attempted to conquer the American music industry with his voice and charisma. His songs found modest success in the United States but became massive hits in Latin America. In 1962, with hopes of cashing in on his international popularity, Reed toured South America, where he underwent a political awakening and earned himself the nickname “The Red Elvis.” Forced into exile, Reed settled in East Germany, where he continued his career until his mysterious death in 1986.
Making magnificent use of never-before seen photographs, interviews, concert footage, and other unpublished material, Red Gringo sheds light on what was really happening in Latin America during the Cold War. 2016, Chile, video, in English and Spanish with English subtitles, 68 minutes. Recommended for 13+.
CINEMA+ Introduced by Dr. Tricia Gray, Assistant Professor, Political Science Department, University of Louisville.