The MSMC Department of Hispanic Studies will present a FREE screening of The Longoria Affair (El caso Longoria) in Aquinas Hall, room 163, next Tuesday, September 13th, at 7p.m. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with director and producer John Valadez. This is an activity open to the public.
The Longoria Affair has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program. (Winners will be announced and the Awards will be presented on Monday evening September 26th in New York City.)
The film is the story of the events and controversy around Felix Longoria’s wake. Longoria was a decorated Mexican American soldier killed in battle during World War II. According to his family, a funeral home in Three Rivers, Texas, refused to hold funeral services because “The whites wouldn’t like it.” Senator Lyndon B. Johnson supported the efforts of Dr. Hector Garcia, the founder of the American G. I. Forum, to find a burial place for Longoria and offered to arrange the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. The Three Rivers town is still bitterly divided over the controversy.
The PBS site points out that
..newly elected Senator Lyndon Johnson and activist Dr. Hector Garcia… formed an alliance over the incident. Over the next 15 years, their complex, sometimes contentious relationship would help Latinos become a national force for the first time in American history, carry John F. Kennedy to the White House, and ultimately lead to Johnson’s signature on the most important civil rights legislation of the 20th century. (PBS About the Film)
Write, director, and producer John Valadez has been a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow twice, a Rockefeller Fellow, and served on the Artists Advisory Board of the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is also a founding member of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers(NALIP). He attended the film program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.