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Make it Snappy: "Betty y Pancho" screens at CFAC Saturday

(Printmaker, sculptor and painter Elizabeth Catlett, 94, who travels to Syracuse this weekend from her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico, is profiled in "Betty y Pancho.")

In 1998, Mexican filmmaker Juan Mora Catlett unveiled "Betty y Pancho," a video portrait of his artistic family that centers on his parents' half-century marriage and collaboration. His father, who died in 2002 at age 79, was the Mexican painter, print-maker and muralist Francisco Mora. His mother is Elizabeth Catlett, the Washington, DC-born, African American sculptor, print-maker and painter, who went to Mexico City in 1946 to study print-making at the Taller de Gr fica Popular (Popular Graphic Arts Workshop), where she met Mora.

Their son the filmmaker will be in town Saturday afternoon for a single screening of "Betty y Pancho" at the Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) at 3:00 PM. This rare U.S. screening -- though shown widely in Mexico including on television, the film has not been released in this country and is not commercially available on DVD -- occurs in conjunction with the opening of "Power and Pride: An Elizabeth Catlett Retrospective," which fills both the building's main galleries and its hallway.

Catlett herself, now 94, travels from her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico, for the opening reception Friday night from 6 -- 8 PM. Central New Yorkers should take note that landing this show -- and the artist with it -- falls into the category of Genuine Major Coup for CFAC (though to tell the truth they have been making a habit of that lately). And although there exists fairly extensive other filmed interview material on Catlett, some of it readily available online, in just under an hour's run-time Mora's film provides an unusually accessible and close look at how two artists worked, supported one another and managed a bicultural marriage and family.

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