Michael Rodriguez, Photo By Luis A. Parker
AS LONG AS I REMEMBER: AMERICAN VETERANOS examines the steep personal toll and enduring legacy of the Vietnam War on three artists from south Texas: visual artist Juan Farias, author Michael Rodriguez and actor/poet Eduardo Garza. Through the personal histories and experiences of these Chicano veterans, the film examines the role art plays in the sorting of memories, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), activism and the current conflict in Iraq. AS LONG AS I REMEMBER chronicles their upbringing in the Mexican-American community, their military service in Vietnam, and their lives after the war. Farias, Rodriguez and Garza’s poignant and powerful recollections illuminate the minority experience in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps at a time when Mexican Americans accounted for approximately 20 percent of U.S. casualties in Vietnam, despite comprising only 10 percent of the country’s population.
Funded by Humanities Texas, City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs and Latino Public Broadcasting and can be see on PBS stations throughout the United States and Canada via an American Public Television offering til 2016.
The film is already in the libraries of UT, UTSA, UTA, UNLV, UVL, UCSD, UC Berkely, South Texas College and many more. It is used in classes that cover American History, Chicano History, Literature, Art, and Humanities. The film screened at NACCS in Seattle in 2010. That November a screening was sponsored by CMAS at UTSA. In Germany I showed the film in a class at Bielefeld University that studied the art and culture of the Lone Star State, and a Masters Course at the University of Leipzig on Chicano Cultural Production. The film features Chicano writers including Dr. Norma Cantu and Michael Rodriguez, Diana Montejano aside from the artists like Juan Farias, Roberto Sifuentes and Eduardo Garza.