In this edition, the Latin American Competition brings us elven films, a handful of the best of the region’s cinema. From acclaimed directors to novel authors, this selection is a true reflection of the talent and the common concerns of a Latin America that builds, thinks and reflects upon itself.
600 Miles, by Gabriel Ripstein – Mexico
Gabriel Ripstein’s debut film is based on a clear and simple premise: those 600 miles, that distance that entails a frontier, a limit, a conflicting zone. Arnulfo, a young man, the last and lowest link in a chain of gun trafficking, is in that route between Arizona and the North of Mexico with Hank Harris, an ATF veteran. In this realistic road movie, built upon crossroads, alliances, complicities, betrayals and the survival spirit are revealed, in an area where geographic, legal and moral boundaries are constantly blurred.
Beyond my Grandfather Allende, by Marcia Tambiutti – Chile / Mexico
Historical and family reconstruction of an icon of the region, through the eyes of her granddaughter, in the fervent quest for getting to know the person behind the politician. Marcia Tambiutti questions her own relatives, and faces the reluctance of diving into the past, recording the process, as if the journey were more important than the destination. A clever and intimate story about the personal and social need to go through our history, with roots in our present.
Campo grande, by Sandra Kogut – Brazil / France
Everything is being built in Campo Grande. The buildings of Ipanema in Rio, two children, waiting for her mother, who have been left at the doorstep of Regina, the protagonist, who is, in turn, preparing her move. Everything is being built in a city in transit, moved by its protagonists’ changes. A beautiful story of a Brazil that is constantly moving.
From Afar, by Lorenzo Vigas – Venezuela / Mexico
Lorenzo Vigas presents us his surprising debut film, an intimate story in a hidden Venezuela. Two men, of different origin, age and personality run into each other by chance –or not so much- in one of those places where opposites attract. A story that smartly narrates mutual need, loneliness, lacks, going deep into the opacities of the human soul.
Evilness, by Joshua Gil – Mexico
In Joshua Gil’s first film, from the generic concept of evilness a multiplicity of meanings spring, which mingle in an arid and harsh story about a man in his final days. In a race against time, the protagonist, the director’s grandfather, carries the illusion of making a film, based on musical compositions, a catharsis to endure the pain for his wife’s desertion. So evilness can take the shape of death, of indifference, of depression, of betrayal or, simply, of that deep Mexico, which seems desolate for an old man who only wants to make a film about his life.
What We Never Said, by Sebastián Sánchez Amunátegui - Argentina / Mexico
More often than not, physical distance is not was keeps people away. Dormant, the unsaid separates people more than hundreds of kilometers. Sánchez Amunátegui, Chilean director living in Mexico, builds an intimate story that feels like a runaway. Mariana moves to Mexico and her parents stay in Mendoza. She only returns to her country when she finds out about her father’s disease. That physical proximity will not imply emotional proximity, and generational differences, past stories and present intolerances will be at stake, in a story that goes deep into family relationships, so complex yet so necessary.
Monument Hunter, by Jerónimo Rodríguez - Chile
An essay on search and reflection about the relationships between images and memories. From a sculpture in front of the Neurosurgery Institute in Santiago de Chile, Jerónimo Rodríguez, using and interesting and peculiar third person, dives into the functioning of the human brain and those soft and constant threads of the mind.
Samuray-s, by Raúl Perrone - Argentina
Raúl Perrone, at the recent Valdivia Film Festival, which paid tribute to him, said about his film: "I don’t like to write synopsis. I don’t think they are necessary. So, regarding Samuray-s, I will only say this: 1) A samurai kills the son of the owner of a brothel and the latter seeks revenge. 2) An old woman wants to marry her granddaughter with the bad samurai, but she is in love with the good samurai. 3) A samurai comes back from the war after a long time and no longer recognizes her wife”.
Santa Teresa and Other Stories, by Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias- Dominican Republic / Mexico / United States
A visual, poetic and narrative experiment. Santa Teresa and Other Stories –based on Roberto Bolaño’s posthumous novel 2666- is a labyrinthine and dark story set on a fictional city, Santa Teresa, an allegory of Ciudad Juárez. Nelson Carlo de los Santos sets himself on the limits in order to erase them, and he deduces, dissects and builds a new perspective on a city filled with death, toying between documentary, fiction and lyric observation.
I Promise You Anarchy, by Julio Hernández Cordón - Mexico / Germany
I Promise You Anarchy is one of the most powerful Mexican films in the Latin American Competition. A harsh story about a Mexico built upon disappearances and losses. In that scenario, like that which resists to die, appears love, desire, the young naiveté of believing that you can fight against cruel powers and structures.
Suspended Time, by Natalia Bruschtein - Mexico
Poetic and sensitive essay on memories, the fragmentation of memory and identity. Natalia Bruschtein makes a record of the painful course of her grandmother’s illness, Laura Bonaparte, who fought during her entire life to recover memories, despite the systematic action of State terrorism, the same one that took away several of her loved ones. A struggle for the need to acknowledge the past starts fading away in the loss of neuronal memory, but not audiovisual memory. The result: a moving story about a paradoxical moment, with an intense emotional and historical value.