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Reinventing Retirement in San Miguel

By Dennis Lanson

Americans have been living the expatriate life in San Miguel de Allende, México, for more than 70 years. In the 90s and early naughts, though, their numbers increased dramatically. Real estate boomed. Some residents sought all the amenities they had at home, but at half the price. In 2003 Money Magazine listed San Miguel as one of the best retirement destinations, and the only one outside the USA. By 2013 Conde Nast Traveler’s readers had voted it “The Best City in the World.”

Why do Americans choose to live abroad? How do they impact this particular locale, which was once a sleepy provincial town in the mountains of México? How do the Mexican residents view these ‘visitors’ from the north? How do the two cultures co-exist, for better and worse?

Gringolandia explores this phenomenon. Filmmaker and San Miguel resident Dennis Lanson covers traditional events from Dia de los Muertos to Dia de los Locos, and interviews old-timers, more recent expats, and Mexican natives, in an attempt to find answers to these questions.

With millions of Baby Boomers at the point of retirement, unwilling to settle for that rocking chair on the porch, where does a place like San Miguel de Allende fit in? And where do they fit in to a place like San Miguel?

Dennis Lanson has been writing, producing, and directing film and video since the 1980’s. His most recent documentary project is Walk With Us, about ABBA HOUSE in Celaya, a refuge for migrants, produced with Judy Jackson, award-winning director with BBC, CBC, Al Jazeera, and others. Mr. Lanson’s past credits include To Hear The Music, about Gloucester pipe organ builder CB Fisk, which broadcast on PBS stations; Phans of Jersey City (co-directed with Steve Forman) a documentary about a Vietnamese refugee family, which appeared in New Directors/New Films and on PBS stations; and Booming, a film about uranium mining in Wyoming in winter, which was screened at Edinburgh, Denver, and other international festivals.




Wed, Aug 7, 7:30pm

Teatro Santa Ana

Reloj 50-A

150 pesos

Q & A with filmmaker after screening



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