NWWS Documentary Film Premiere “Sad Happiness: Cinthya’s Transborder Journey,” directed by Lynn Stephen



May 6, 2016
12:00 pmto1:00 pm

Sad-Happiness-DVD-front-coverKnight Library
Browsing Room
1501 Kincaid St.
UO campus

5th annual CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium

“Crossing Borders: Women’s Stories of Immigration, Migration, and Transition,” May 6 – 7, 2016

Documentary Film Premiere: 12-1 p.m. “Sad Happiness: Cinthya’s Transborder Journey,” followed by Q&A with the director. 

Directed by Lynn Stephen, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon and co-director of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS). Produced by Sonia De La Cruz and Lynn Stephen.

Sad Happiness: Cinthya’s Transborder Journey explores the differential rights that U.S. citizen children and their undocumented parents have through the story of one extended Zapotec family. Shot in Oregon and Oaxaca, Mexico, and narrated by 11-year old Cinthya, the film follows Cinthya’s trip to her parent’s home community of Teotitlán del Valle with her godmother, anthropologist Lynn Stephen. There she meets her extended family and discovers her indigenous Zapotec and Mexican roots. While in Oaxaca, she participates in her community’s annual celebration of their patron saint, learns how to make chocolate and spin wool, explores a Zapotec archaeological site, and shares in a family party where she dances with her great-grandmother. Her absent parents are omnipresent on the trip as Cinthya’s cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents all talk to her about them and how they wish for their return.

Cinthya’s happiness is modified by the sadness of her parents being unable to accompany her. At a larger level, Cinthya’s story illuminates the desires and struggles of the millions of families divided between the U.S. and other countries where children are mobile citizens and parents cannot leave. In English, Spanish, and Zapotec with English subtitles. TRT: 39 minutes. The development of this documentary was supported in part by a Faculty Research Grant from the UO Center for the Study of Women in Society.

CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium: “Crossing Borders: Women’s Stories of Immigration, Migration, and Transition,” May 6 – 8, 2016


The fifth annual CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium will be held Friday, May 6, 2016, through Sunday, May 8 2016. American Book Award winner Reyna Grande is the keynote author. She will be joined by the inimitable Ariel Gore, founding editor/publisher of Hip Mama; Dominican-American poet and novelist Ana-Maurine Lara; novelist Miriam Gershow; novelist Chris Scofield; travel and food magazine writer Jennifer Burns Bright; documentary filmmaker and anthropology professor Lynn Stephen; documentary filmmaker and SOJC professor Gabriela Martínez; and others . The symposium includes panel discussions, writing workshops, a keynote talk, author conversations & readings, book signings, and discussion. Our theme is “Crossing Borders: Women’s Stories of Immigration, Migration, and Transition.” This theme promises to open conversations about border politics; poverty; racism and xenophobia; climate change; ongoing effects of colonialism and genocide; family dynamics; agricultural patterns and enslavement; overpopulation; human migratory patterns; fleeing war and abuse; moving on; and traveling for discovery, growth, and as part of our archetypal human journey. How have our migrations and moves contributed to or instigated our writings? What do we move away from, and what do we go toward? What are the historical, political, and personal currents that influence our transitions—from one country to another, from one state to another, from city to country, from mountains to sea, from one marriage or partnership to another, from one career to another, from one self-view to another? “Crossing Borders” is a multi-layered theme that will open the door to fruitful discussions of craft, creativity, challenges of survival, making room for others, and community.

Hosted by the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon in cooperation with Eugene Pubic Library, this symposium is generously cosponsored by Oregon Humanities Center’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; UO Libraries; Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies; Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; Department of English; School of Journalism and Communication; and the University Health Center.

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