Lourdes Portillo, the Oscar-nominated Mexican-born documentary filmmaker whose work explored Latin American social points by way of spellbinding narratives, has died. She was 80.

Ms. Portillo died Saturday at her dwelling in San Francisco. Her loss of life was confirmed by her buddy Soco Aguilar. No trigger was given.

Certainly one of Ms. Portillo’s best-known works is her 1994 documentary “The Satan By no means Sleeps,” a murder-mystery by which Ms. Portillo investigates the unusual loss of life of her multimillionaire uncle, whose widow claimed he had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In 2020, the Library of Congress chosen the movie for preservation on the Nationwide Movie Registry.

“Utilizing classic snapshots, previous dwelling motion pictures and interviews, the movie builds a biographical portrait of Oscar Ruiz Almeida, a Mexican rancher who amassed a fortune exporting greens to america and went on to grow to be a robust politician and businessman,” Stephen Holden, a Occasions film critic, wrote in a 1995 review of the film.

The documentary had the tenor of a telenovela and offered open questions on Mr. Ruiz Almeida’s mysterious life and loss of life and the individuals who may have had a motive for the homicide.

“The extra Oscar is mentioned, the extra enigmatic he appears,” Mr. Holden wrote.

Ms. Portillo crafted the movie’s story line from the data her mom relayed over the phone whereas Ms. Portillo was residing in New York, she said in a talk at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles final yr.

The museum screened the film final yr as part of a series honoring Ms. Portillo and different filmmakers who’ve made important contributions to cinema.

Her breakthrough work was the 1985 Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary “The Mothers of The Plaza of Mayo,” which adopted a bunch of moms in Argentina who had sought solutions to the disappearance of their sons, who have been taken by a repressive regime.

Lourdes Portillo was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Nov. 11, 1943. She lived in Mexico till she was 13, when she immigrated to Los Angeles along with her household, Ms. Aguilar mentioned.

She racked up dozens of awards and nominations across 18 films produced over 4 a long time, beginning in 1979, in accordance with IMDb.

She was identified for her genuine boundary-pushing type.

“Portillo’s works defy categorization, slipping simply between docufiction, experimental video and the melodrama of telenovelas,” the Academy Museum said last year.

Earlier than her loss of life, Ms. Portillo was engaged on a film called “Looking At Ourselves,” which gained a grant from the Sundance Institute final yr.

Ms. Portillo is survived by her three sons, Carlos, Karim and Antonio Scarlata; 4 siblings and 5 grandchildren, in accordance with her son, Carlos Scarlata.

Ms. Portillo’s last work, “State of Grace,” was launched in 2020, a private animated quick movie a couple of dream by which Ms. Portillo confronts her desperation after having been identified with an sickness.

“The one factor that enabled me to assemble my power was a vivid dream,” Ms. Portillo mentioned on her web site. “Within the dream I noticed my household and ancestors round me in a circle, chanting for my therapeutic, it stuffed me with tenderness for all who had cherished me.”



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