Milestone Hispanic-American Women Film Before We Say Goodbye Free At Ilfeld Jan. 14
New Mexico Highlands University presents a milestone film about the life of Hispanic-American women, Before We Say Goodbye, at the university’s Ilfeld Auditorium Jan. 14 at 1 and 7 p.m.
Both showings are free to the public in historic Ilfeld at 900 University Ave. There is also a public reception for the film from 4 — 6 p.m. at the university’s Margaret Kennedy Alumni Hall, 905 University Ave.
Before We Say Goodbye is based on Northern New Mexico Latina playwright Patricia Crespin’s play, We Are Hispanic Womenâ€¦. OK? The 2010 movie has received critical acclaim and has been called an accurate, unvarnished portrayal of Hispanic-American life.
“Before We Say Goodbye is a special and heartfelt achievement not to be missed, an enriching experience that will touch movie audiences everywhere,” wrote Pete Hammond, of Boxoffice Magazine.
Crespin said: “This story is about four generations of Hispanic women who struggle with the news that the patriarch of the family has cancer. It shows how each woman’s strength comes out in times of crisis, and how faith can bring you miracles even if you don’t believe in them. It’s also a story about perseverance and overcoming obstacles.”
Crespin, 38, is a Highlands University music and theatre alumna who went on to complete her MFA in dramatic writing at the University of New Mexico. She says her heart and roots are in Las Vegas because her father’s family settled 200 years ago in nearby San Geronimo, where her mother still lives. Her father died in 2006.
Highlands University produced Crespin’s play first in April 2006, with the Nat Gold Players community theatre group producing the play later that year.
Before We Say Goodbye is a 2010 Paul Davids film from his Los Angeles-based Yellow Hat Productions, Inc. Crespin is co-writer/co-producer for the film.
Davids saw a Nat Gold production of We Are Hispanic Womenâ€¦.OK? at a New Mexico theater conference in 2007 and approached Crespin about bringing her play to the big screen.
“I fell in love with the story,” Davids said. “It’s sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always with perceptive and penetrating dialogue. I could identify with the plight of each and every character.”
Juanita Sena-Shannon, an accomplished Santa Fe stage and film actress, plays the lead character of Ramona Garcia in Before We Say Goodbye. In 2010, Sena-Shannon starred in Bless Me Ultima, Vortex Theatre’s stage production based on Rodolfo Anaya’s world renowned best-selling novel.
Bless Me Ultima toured statewide in 2010, including a sold-out performance at Ilfeld Auditorium in October.
Other Highlands University alumni play key roles in Before We Say Goodbye, including Diana Padilla and Elena Montoya. Both also performed onstage in We Are Hispanic Womenâ€¦.OK?
Before We Say Goodbye was filmed on location in Northern New Mexico and Mexico. Scenes range from the Las Vegas kitchen of Leticia Padilla to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
“Patricia is an incredible writer with an ability to authentically portray Hispanic-American culture — this movie is what we are about,” said Padilla, who also played a part in the movie and is the associate director for the Highlands University GEAR UP Program.
Crespin has written eight plays. Before We Say Goodbye is her first feature film.
“It’s wonderful to see my play come to life as a film,” Crespin said. “While it celebrates Hispanic culture, it’s also a story about family that everyone can relate to.”