DER Documentary

Pepino Mango Nance

by Gillain Goslinga and Bann Roy
black and white, 10 min, 1997




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Pepino Mango Nance was a class project made under the strict "rules" of CNTV 508 (at USC). The rules of the class were: the film had to be non-sync 16 mm, the number of shoot days could not exceed 10, the shooting ratio could not be more than 1:3, only two sessions of 4 hours each were allowed for the sound mix, and the finished film could not be longer than 400 Feet in length (approx. 11 minutes).

Bann and Gillian chose to be partners for this class but were considered to have very different approaches in style and method. They were inspired by Mike Davis's "City of Quartz" and started conducting research about day labor and their own work experiences in the households and businesses of the rich. They met Joseph Julian Gonzales, a second generation Chicano and music composer who was beginning an experimental composition for a string quartet inspired by hawker calls of the vendors of downtown Los Angeles. Most of the street vendors were first generation immigrants-many of them "illegal" from Central America.

The film and the developing score influenced each other. Joseph's main concern was the "emotional pull" of the piece, the filmmakers' interest was the political scenario in which the project was situated. There was a considerable amount of conflict and tension among all parties in the making of the film which was ultimately resolved.

In the course of shooting, a close friendship evolved between the filmmakers and Marta-Julia Lemus, the street vendor whose story runs parallel with Joseph's in the film. The street scenes were the most difficult to shoot as they involved visual evidence of police action against the street vendors while not calling attention to them or placing them in any compromising situation.

In the end the film is a complex mix weaving art, politics, law, and culture into a whole package, experienced in 10 minutes, no small feat. Pepino Mango Nance serves as an example of what is possible under very restricted means to other students of film. It also can be used in classroom discussions of immigration, urban America, politics and law as well as providing an inside look at the act of creation.


Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Best Student Film, Society of Visual Anthropology 1996
3rd Prize Documentary, Universty Film and Video Association
Virginia Festival of American Films
Women of Color Film Festival
"VISTA LA" KABC TV Channel 7



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