“Milagro Beanfield” Malibu Screening Highlights Preservation Issues

Actress Julie Carmen to attend Q&A

A groundbreaking film in so many ways, The Milagro Beanfield addressed communities with a screening at the Malibu Film Society (MFS) on this Saturday, May 19th at the Malibu Screening Room in the Malibu Jewish Center complex at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

This Saturday, film lovers will be able to watch a movie that the 1988 film correlates with an issue that is on the minds of many Malibu residents. It is about one man’s fight to defend his small bean field and community from large business and state political interests. MFS is screening the movie in conjunction with Preserve Malibu, an organization of Malibu residents that hopes to preserve the city’s natural resources and business.

According to the Malibu Times, actress Julie Carmen Hoffman, who played the character “Nancy Mondragon” in the movie, will be at the screening to answer questions about the 117-minute drama. Actor Chick Vennera, who played Hoffman’s husband in the film, will join Hoffman, a Malibu resident since 1994, at the question-and-answer session.

As a concerned resident of Malibu, Hoffman says that although the communities are different the issue comes down to standing up for a deep concern with the major development projects in the pipeline for construction in Malibu.

“Milagro Beanfield War is about a small community fighting to preserve its way of life, which at its core is what Preserve Malibu is all about,” Scott Tallal, MFS’s Executive Director wrote in an email. “We very much support their efforts to help save local businesses.”

The Milagro Beanfield War, an adaptation of John Nicholas novel by the same name resonated within the Latino community when it was release, not just for its subject matter but because in a time of scant roles for Latinos, this movie employed many.  Directed and produced by Robert Redford, with Moctezuma Esparza also producing, the film starred Carmen, Ruben Blades, Sonia Braga, Melanie Griffith, Christopher Walken, Tony Genaro, Carlos Riquelme, and Freddy FenderMilaro went on to win Oscar for “Best Music” category.

Hoffman continues acting but is also a marriage and family therapist.  About working with former Malibu resident, Redford, she says, “Robert Redford’s direction about Nancy is that he said she drinks beer instead of milk. That simple statement gave me a lot of information to build on.”

That and other behind the scenes tales are sure to be told by the talent in attendance. “It’s hard to predict what the audience will be curious about, past anecdotes or current events,” she said. “There are a lot of funny stories from the 16 weeks of shooting the film.”

Hoffman’s other acting credits include television movies and television shows such as John Cassavetes’ Gloria, Michael Mann’s Drug Wars Part Two, Gore Vidal’s Billy the Kid, and she played Angelina Jolie’s mom in the Hallmark miniseries True Women. Vennera, the owner of a theater and acting school in Hollywood, has had roles in films and shows such as JAG, LA Heat, Kidnapped and Hail to the Chief.

Tickets to the MFS screening and Q&A are $10 at door, and $5 if reservations are made before Saturday. For more information, visit http://malibufilmsociety.org.

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