Forbidden Roots to be explored in Saddleback

The film explores the roots and impact of Chicano Studies on young Latinos in college. (Espinosa Morales Productions)

Anibal Santos

Dr. Peter Espinosa, applied psychology professor at Saddleback College, will showcase a special test viewing of Forbidden Roots, April 18 at noon in the Business and General Studies building, Room 144.

The documentary, which is narrated by Espinosa and edited by Tyler Morales, Saddleback film graduate, deals with the origins, exploration and importance of Chicano Studies in the U.S..

The film features interviews from Chicano/Chicana and Latino students, who will share their experience of Chicano Studies as well as the impact it has made on their lives. The film will also feature music from multi Grammy Award-winning Los Lobos.

The film is being presented as a “test-showing,” and will give students in attendance the opportunity to critique the film after viewing it. The film is being planned to be submitted to upcoming film festivals.

Espinosa has taught at Saddleback for 30 years and also teaches Chicano Studies at Cal State University Fullerton. He credits his experience to a Chicano Studies course, that he took as a student at Cal State University Long Beach. He said it gave him guidance and direction.

“It made a big impact in my life,” Espinosa said.

“At the time I was excited and angry,” Espinosa said. “I was excited that I was going to finally know about my family’s ancestry, but at the same time angry that it had never taught to me through the public school system, considering that we are neighbors with Mexico.”

“I was inspired by what happened in Arizona,” Espinosa continued. “When I read the news article, it grabbed me.”

Espinosa was moved to producing the film after HB 2281 was signed into law by Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer. HB 2281 bans the teaching of all Ethnic Studies in the state. Since then, it has banned Chicano Studies from Arizona’s public school system.

“A Chicano study has had a great legacy for Chicano students,” he said. “It has had a pretty good track record and is important for the success of Latino and non-Latino students.”


To view the Forbidden Roots trailer:

Forbidden Roots Trailer

For more information on HB 2281:

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