Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle is an investigative look at the life and mysterious death of pioneering journalist Ruben Salazar. At the heart of the story is Salazar's transformation from a mainstream, establishment reporter for the LA Times to primary chronicler and supporter of the radical Chicano movement of the late 1960s. Killed under mysterious circumstances by a law enforcement officer in 1970, Salazar became an instant martyr to Latinos—many of whom had criticized his reporting during his lifetime.
In the four decades since his death, many of the official police records and details surrounding the circumstances of his killing remained inaccessible to the public. Director/Producer Phillip Rodriguez obtained several previously-sealed files and other information, allowing him to make a film that removes Salazar from the shroud of myth and martyrdom. The result is a clear and honest look at the man and his times. The film includes interviews with Salazar's friends, colleagues and family members, and Salazar's own words culled from personal writings.
Phillip Rodriguez is a documentary director whose films and educational programs have challenged ideas about race and diversity. Rodriguez’ films have focused on the complexities of Latino culture, history, and identity.
His films include The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo, Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle, RACE 2012, Latinos ’08, Brown is the New Green: George Lopez and the American Dream, Los Angeles Now, Mixed Feelings: San Diego/Tijuana, Manuel Ocampo: God is My Copilot, and Pancho Villa & Other Stories.
The Washington Post has referred to the work as “higher truth-telling.” The San Diego Tribune calls the work “masterful,” The New York Times, "thoughtful.”
Rodriguez has an A.A. from Los Angeles Valley College, a B.A. in History from UC Berkeley, an M.A. and M.F.A from UCLA in Latin American Studies and Film Production.
This event is supported by California Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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