Meet Bernardo Ruiz, the Documentary Filmmaker Behind ‘Latino Vote’

in Notes From A Native Daughter/TV/Film by

On Tuesday, October 6, Latino Vote premieres on PBS stations across the country—see your local station for times.

Bernardo is a story getter—from Reportero to Kingdom of Shadows to Harvest Season, and now Latino Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground, his films are intimate and turn into frontline newsreels, and that doesn’t always happen; it’s by chance. And, the people he films give themselves up. I think it’s his style, the way he makes his storytellers appear in his movies.

In Latino Vote, a woman tells it from the bottom of her heart how she feels the president is a terrorist. The innocence in her voice and desperation explains the entire documentary in an instant. Who is galvanized to vote and for what reasons? The “sleeping giant” is not one monolithic voting bloc of people but a multi-layered giant. In one hour, Bernardo and the team spotlight some of the complex Latino voting electorate— grassroot community organizers, volunteers, progressive politicians, union workers, evangelicals, and more in the battleground states of Nevada, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

It’s a great piece and must watch for this season from hell.

I’m out of words these days, but I managed to catch this talk with him—informal-formal with truths and numbers.


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