Ñ (enn-yay)

1982, 8:03 min, color, sound

Exploring cultural loss and the modes by which a dominant culture reworks history in its own image, this narrative pastiche is a sophisticated deconstruction of the myth of America as the promised land, and the role of the media in reinforcing that illusion. For Labat, the disappearance of the tilde sign (ñ) in the Anglicized pronunciation of Spanish words is a metaphor for what is "lost or left behind" by acculturation. This fragmented collage of cultural myth and reality includes a young man reciting his version of Columbus' discovery of the "New World," and a Marielito (the term for the Cuban boat people exiled by Fidel Castro to the United States in the early 1980s) recalling his disorienting journey of uncertainty and optimism.

Sound: Marta Hoskins, Tony Labat. With: David Birkit, Jose Luis, Joel Glassman, April Sheldon, Tony Labat.