Joe Ray Sandoval has to be pretty pumped. The local poet and DJ's writings spawned a feature length flick that was filmed at the Lensic last night to a packed house. Spoken Word, which Sandoval co-wrote with producer William T Conway, takes a look into the life of a Chimayo man, Cruz, who returns home after a three year absence to take care of his dying father (Ruben Blades). Cruz, played by Mexico City native Kuno Becker, left Santa Fe for the life of a poet in San Francisco after years of trouble back at home. Though the film's portrayal of Santa Fe is narrow and does focus on the negative it does not pretend to paint a complete picture of the city.
Instead, Spoken Word gives us a slice of life in northern New Mexico. This is the New Mexico of dirt driveways, drugs, small town bars and the occasional visit to Santa Fe.
Of course, for those of us who live in Santa Fe, seeing familiar faces and places are half the fun. Fusion nightclub is renamed Alchemy and run by a homegrown crook, Emilio (Miguel Sandoval), whose greed nearly destroys Cruz' family.
Throughout the Wednesday night showing audiences laughed as the landscape of northern New Mexico showed on the screen. A mention of ChicanoBuilt, a venture that focuses on music, spoken word poetry, art and advocacy that Sandoval has been heavily involved in, brought out whoops and cheers from the audience.
Spoken Word is a solid independent effort from a local film company, Luminaria, that took advantage of a local cast for its local film.