A Man, When He’s a Man

Directed by Valeria Sarmiento

Planet of the Children

Directed by Valeria Sarmiento
Screening on Film

A film editor, director and screenwriter, Valeria Sarmiento (b. 1948) is known for her work in fiction centered on deconstructing the codes of melodrama and their female protagonists’ plights, as well as her collaborations with her partner, filmmaker Raúl Ruiz (1941 – 2011), also featured in this series. In the past years, her documentaries have garnered wider critical attention. This program is focused on two television documentaries filmed in the Caribbean that explore two aspects of Latin American identity.

In A Man, When He’s a Man, Sarmiento interviewed men of all ages in Costa Rica about the meaning of romantic love. Through a montage of their responses, boleros and classic romantic films, the film produces a humorous, cunning reflection on masculinity and machismo in Latin America. The Planet of Children was filmed at one of the palacios (palaces) of the Escuela de Pioneros (School of Pioneers) in Cuba. This institution, founded in 1979 by Fidel Castro and composed of more than one hundred locations, allowed children to familiarize themselves with trades and jobs through role-playing. Centered on the children’s experiences in this school, without any adult appearing before the camera, the film offers an entry to a singular pedagogical experience while also crafting a critical vision of one of the 20th century’s defining political experiences—in Latin America and the world. – Ignacio Azcueta


  • A Man, When He’s a Man (El hombre cuando es hombre)

    Directed by Valeria Sarmiento.
    Costa Rica/France/West Germany, 1982, 16mm, color, 66 min.
    Spanish with English subtitles.
    Print source: Women Make Movies
  • Planet of the Children (El planeta de los niños)

    Directed by Valeria Sarmiento.
    France/Chile, 1992, DCP, color, 62 min.
    Spanish with English subtitles.
    DCP source: Cyclone le studio

Part of film series

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Remapping Latin American Cinema: Chilean Film/Video 1963 – 2013