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Cross cultural moment

Posted at 3:34 PM on June 19, 2006 by Euan Kerr

As mentioned before in these pages, the delights of the advanced screening are many. A showing of "Nacho Libre" last week provided one more.

The free screening at the Mall of America brought a capacity crowd. People settled down in their seats in that special movie theater gloomy half-light and waited for the movie to begin.

As showtime approached, a man and two women walked down to the front of the theater and began speaking in Spanish.

The world changed at that moment. It was like the whole room had shifted and rotated in some way. Suddenly the crowd was in a very different place.

It turned out the show was sponsored in part by "La Invasora" a relatively new Spanish language radio station in the Twin Cities.

Instead of hurling tee-shirts into the audience as is usually the case, the trio began offering reggaetone CD's to people who were able to complete various tasks, like be the first person to come down front with a picture of his or her mother.

Within moments the place was in an uproar as people began running up and down the aisles trying to win the prizes. It turned out that a very large percentage of the audience was Spanish speaking, and they were ready to have some fun. It was really cool.

During the mayhem I heard one woman shout out in English "Hey! Ask questions in English! I want to win one of those CD's too." Her wish was denied.

People were shouting out answers, as others yelled out in encouragement. It only took few questions and a few minutes and all the CD's were gone.

People returned to their seats, the hubbub fades away, and the lights went down. The world suddenly shifted back, and the universal movie-experience began.

June 2006
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