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Red Gringo: American Pop Culture and Cold War in Latin America.

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Reminiscent of Searching for Sugarman, director Miguel Ángel Vidaurre’s self-described “pop memory exercise” follows North American singer Dean Reed’s surprising and unlikely political transformation after learning of the brutality and repression of U.S.-supported regimes in South America. Born in Lakewood, Colorado, Reed attempted to conquer the American music industry with his voice and charisma. His songs found modest success in the U.S. but became massive hits in Latin America. In 1962, with hopes of cashing in on his international popularity, Reed tours South America, where he undergoes a political awakening that earned him the nickname “The Red Elvis.” After being forced into exile, Reed settled in East Germany where he continued his career until his mysterious death in 1986. Making magnificent use of never seen old photographs, interviews, concert footage, and other unpublished material, Red Gringo sheds light on what was really happening in Latin America during the Cold War.

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