We had a full house at UCLA yesterday with about 15-20 people standing in the aisles and the back. I was very impressed by the turnout. About 140 people turned out to see "Death in El Valle" at UCLA's Royce Hall.
Many of them were students and I am very grateful to Chair John Dagenais and Adriana Ruiz for getting the word out. The crowd was really warm, smart and knowledgeable about the issues. They also asked terrific questions. What was interesting to me was how much of our discussion centered on the larger issues rather than specific questions about the film. Since this was my intention, I was pleased that I had succeeded in bringing that out from the audience by putting last night's screening into the context of this year's important anniversaries in Spain. I was also really glad that Shirley Mangini could join us. She was a terrific speaker. Her expertise on this subject, both as a writer and scholar of the Spanish Civil War, and a member of ALBA's board, gave a nice touch to our evening.
I had a wonderful time, even though I was a bit nervous at first. I'm finding new inspiration and enjoyment out of talking in front of an audience. I would love to go around the country speaking to students at Universities about this topic!