SACRAMENTO — La Raza Galería Posada, 2700 Front St., will screen two rarely seen film versions of La Pastorela, a centuries old Mexican.
La Pastorela is a holiday treat complete with devils, angels, shepherds and music. Pastorelas — stories about shepherds seeking the newborn Christ child — have been performed in Spain and England since the early days of Christianity. The tradition was brought to Mexico in the 16th Century and remains strong there and in the Southwestern United States.
These two films deliver a holiday message about the power of good to overcome evil. It is a perfect antidote to crowded malls and commercial madness.
It will bring the audience back to the true meaning of the holidays. These two screen versions offer Sacramentans two very different interpretations of the same tradition.
The screenings are free and donations are welcome.
“La Pastorela, A Shepherd’s’ Play” for families (1991) is Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.
It was written and directed by Luis Valdez, director and founder of El Teatro Campesino and writer/director of two well known movies: “Zoot Suit” (1981) and “La Bamba” (1987).
With Linda Ronstadt as Arcangel Miguel and comedian Paul Rodriguez as Santanas, plus appearances by greats Cheech Marin, Flaco Jimenez and Freddie Fender, Luis Valdez’s “La Pastorela” is a treat for the entire family.
Shot in the Central Valley of California, it was originally created in 1991 for PBS “Great Performances.” La Pastorela has only been available on VHS. Now, La Raza Galería Posada is screening the newly released DVD version.
It is the day before Christmas. Gila Diaz is a young adolescent girl, the oldest child in a large rural Tex-Mex family. She is frustrated with her family’s poverty and the drudgery of her life in caring for her many younger siblings. Gila’s parents drag her and the family to midnight Mass. They go to hear the Pastorela, a traditional play about the shepherds who are told of the birth of Christ and the triumph of the God’s angels over Satan’s diablos.
Gila is knocked unconscious by a prop and suddenly she is transported into the real story of the Pastorela and begins a frightening fantastic quest to Bethlehem to find the Christ Child’s manger.
This year’s live performance of “La Pastorela” will again be staged by El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista. For more information visit elteatrocampesino.com.
“Pastorela” for adults (2011) is Saturday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.
“Pastorela” was released in 2011 and offers a contemporary Mexican film with a distinctly Mexican sense of adult humor. In Spanish with English subtitles, “Pastorela” will have it’s audience in stitches. It is by Mexican director Emilio Portes. “Pastorela” is a raucous romp in a colonia (neighborhood) in Mexico City where federal policeman, El Cochiloco (Joaquín Cosíoa) tries to regain his long held role as El Diablo in the neighborhood’s annual Pastorela performance.
On both nights, LRGP Director Marie Acosta, who performed the role Arcangel Miguel in the late 1970s with El Teatro Campesino, will offer a brief background of the Pastorela tradition.
Both screenings will include holiday refreshments, music and good cheer.
For more information call 916-446-5133.