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Chicago, Illinois 60616
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Puerto Rican Parade - Christ in Pilsen 1987

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Film Identifier: F.2005-08-0144
Run Time
0h 13m 9s
Mag Stripe
Date Produced
Short Super-8mm film documenting two events in Chicago in 1987: first the Puerto Rican Parade in downtown Chicago, then the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross Easter celebration procession in Pilsen.

Note: the magnetic soundtrack on this film has not yet been digitized.
Begins with scenes of the Puerto Rican Parade on Dearborn Street in Chicago's downtown. Around Lake Street, 26th ward Alderman Luis Gutierrez talks to the camera and leads a congregation of "Honored Guests" south down Dearborn. Chicago Mayor Harold Washington can be seen waving a Puerto Rican flag while wearing a sash.

The marquee for the Dearborn Theatre can be seen, advertising screenings of Crocodile Dundee and Beverly Hills Cop II. Marina Towers loom behind the crowd. President of the Puerto Rican Parade Daniel Ramos waves to the crowd, followed by a float for the Illinois State Lottery that is decorated with a classroom theme (featuring both kids in school desks and adults dressed as numbered lottery balls).

Piccolo Elementary School students perform a routine with orange pom-poms. Children in elaborate masks dance on a float for Fiesta En Carnival. Students from Darwin Public School and Avondale Public School hold up banners, as do members of the Latino Firefighters Association Bomberos. A band performs on a rainbow float with a sign that reads "Calderon / Jose de Leon."

In the second half of the film, Stamets turns his camera to Pilsen. A large crowd gathers on W 18th St for the Via Crucis, a reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, held on Good Friday every year since 1977. Men dressed as Roman guards, some on horseback and some on foot, wait for the procession to begin. A man dressed as Jesus carries a cross west on 18th St with Halsted St behind him; he wears a crown of thorns and his face is painted with fake blood. Men dressed as guards surround him, holding spears and pretending to whip him. A group of young boys carry a ladder and a sign that says "Jesus de Nazaret Rey de los Judios." Si Se Puede!, a mural painted by artist José Guerrero in 1973, is visible on the side of a building at 18th and S Racine streets. The procession lingers in front of St Pius V Catholic Church at S Ashland and W Cullerson streets. Spectators and photographers can be seen watching the spectacle from the elevated platform for the 18th Street Pink Line train station at S Paulina St. Stamets himself films the rest of the footage from this bird's eye view. A pink banner for Zemsky Bros Department Store hangs over the street.
Main Credits
Stamets, Bill (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Washington, Harold (is participant)
Gutiérrez, Luis (is participant)
Related Places
Pilsen (depicts)
Chicago (depicts)