The Duke of the Bachata

The Duke of the Bachata/ El Duque de la Bachata (USA, 2009, 53 mins.): In his third documentary film, The Duke of the Bachata, Colorado filmmaker Adam Taub follows Joan Soriano as he struggles to become an internationally famous bachata musician. Moving between the Dominican Republic and the United States, the film explores both Soriano's personal history and the complex evolution of bachata, a musical genre that emerged in the wake of the repressive Trujillo dictatorship. Bent on becoming a star and thus improving the lives of the extended family he leaves behind in the rural Dominican Republic, Soriano provides a charismatic center for the film. As he struggles to build a reputation that can measure up to other world-famous Dominican musicians, Soriano faces potentially overwhelming pressure—he knows that his entire family is counting on him to help them rise out of poverty. The Duke of the Bachata presents an intimate look at bachata's place within Dominican culture and explores how music came to constitute the core of the Soriano family. But the true strength of The Duke of the Bachata comes from Taub's ability to balance the struggles of one young musician against larger questions of class struggle, consumerism and artistic production. After the screening of the film, Taub, whose 2007 film, La Quinceañera , won the Outstanding Documentary Award at the Angelus Student Film Festival, will be present to discuss the film's production and answer questions.

Note: IFS will host a single screening of The Duke of the Bachata at 7:00 p.m. on April 7th.

Synopsis by April Miller