Search International Institute website.

La Bestia: Film Screening and Discussion

Screening of the documentary La Bestia ("The Beast"), followed by a panel discussion with director Pedro Ultreras, Father Alejandro Solalinde and UCLA Professor Leisy Abrego.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Ackerman Union
Second Floor Lounge (2414)

La Bestia ("The Beast")
In Spanish with English Subtitles | 76 Minutes

For close to two decades, thousands of Central American migrants have lost their dreams, limbs and even their lives trying to illegally cross Mexico. Crossing Mexico is the insurmountable challenge that faces all those whose only goal is to reach the United States. The nightmare begins the moment they step onto Mexican soil. Here they must jump on to a cargo train known simply as La Bestia or The Beast, an agonizing journey from which there is no way back; a travesty comparable only to hell itself. To film this documentary, the filmmakers rode alongside these Central American migrants for two weeks, braving the journey with those fighting for a better life. La Bestia, a heart breaking film by Pedro Ultreras and Hiram Gonzalez, showcases the determination of the human spirit and the unquenchable thirst for something more.

The film will be followed by a discussion (in Spanish with simultaneous translation in English) of issues raised in the documentary.


Pedro Ultreras is a three-time Emmy nominated news reporter who worked for Spanish Television Media in the United States for 16 years. Prior to La Bestia, Ultreras wrote and directed the feature length film, 7 Soles ("7 Suns"), released in April 2009. He is currently working as a freelance writer, photographer, reporter, producer and editor for several news companies in the U.S. and Latin America.

Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra is a Catholic priest in Ciudad Ixtepec, Mexico, who is a leading advocate for the rights of Central American migrants in Mexico. Father Solalinde Guerra runs a shelter called Hermanos en el Camino (“Brothers on the Road”) in Ciudad Ixtapec in Oaxaca.

Leisy Abrego is assistant professor of Chicana/o Studies. Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, Professor Abrego is a member of the first large wave of Salvadoran immigrants who arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. Trained as a sociologist, her research and teaching interests are in Central American immigration, Latina/o families and the inequalities created by gender and by U.S. immigration policies.

Moderator: Rubén Hernández-León, sociology professor and director of the Center for Mexican Studies at UCLA.


Watch the trailer:


Parking Information: The closest parking lots are Structures #4 and #6 (Parking also available in Structures #8 and #9). Visitors may purchase daily parking permits (Currently $11) by stopping at the Information & Parking booths or by using a "Pay by Space" pay station. To use a Parking Pay Station : Simply drive to a self-service Pay Station location (located in lot #4, 6, 8). Please read the posted signs and screen prompts for Pay by Space. Pay Stations allow you to select the time you need to spend on campus and pay accordingly (all-day passes can also be purchased).

Cost : Free and open to the public.


Download file: La-Bestia-Screening-3r-0vi.pdf

Sponsor(s): Latin American Institute, Center for Mexican Studies, Los Angeles Times | Hoy, Salvadoran University Student Union (USEU - UCLA), UCLA Labor Center

Search International Institute website.