Rudeboys cannot fail

Juan Irigoyen and Cristian Jure present their documentary Pepo, the last chance, which portrays the story of a cumbia singer who is released after spending 6 years in prison.  

It is not uncommon from mass media to treat working classes from a point of view which objectifies and re-signifies them according to their relation with the middle classes. The slum-dweller is typically represented as a flat subject, almost inanimate, who only serves the purposes of the narrative, and not much more. In cinema, even when he is the main character, most of the times he appears as a caricature of himself, marked by the voice of scrip-writers, actors and directors who have little to do with his vision of the world. Against this way of representing the most marginalised groups in society, some directors have chosen to make other film experiences in order not to follow the same path.
The vast production by the honored director José Celestino Campusano, or the recent works by César González - the self-named "shantytown poet" who is known under his pseudonym Camilo Blajaquis- are examples of an authentically popular cinema, conceived and built from this particular point of view.
Pepo, the last chance may be labeled under this group of works that are the expression of a distinct kind of subjectivity, of a cultural identity with a world view of its own. In this regard, it is worth highlighting the great credit of the duet Irigoyen Jure who, despite not being part of this universe, have had the good sense to let the main character in their documentary, a shantytown cumbia singer just released from prison, tell his own story in his own voice.

It is an honest documentary, without "snobbishness", about a character as incorrect as lovable

Pepo has been given another chance. Ezeiza prison wards have been left behind. He says he has known hell. He has not been told, he has seen it firsthand. But now he has been redeemed and he only wants to do things well, live peacefully. He wants to come back to sing cumbia on the stages, start from scratch, form a new band and be close to his family, because he knows that he does not have any lives left, that this one is the last one, and he must not fail. He looks happy, bursting with laughter. He is extremely charismatic in front of the camera, which follows him closely. From his days in prison to his return to the stages, the formation of a new band, the interviews for television, the reunion with his family, the start of a new life, everything is recorded by the directors' attentive eyes.
Pepo, the last chance is the history of a singer who had everything and lost it, who played in a Luna Park full of fans, who traveled all over Latin America and ended up overwhelmed by cocaine paste, but who could stand up and be reborn where the majority ends up practically dead. It is an honest documentary, without "snobbishness", about a character as incorrect as lovable, and it is also a film that portrays a universe treated like dirt, as if it was second-hand; the universe of the official culture outcasts, of the ones who fall from the system.
Leonardo Mangialavori 

Today, Fri. 18 Nov – 10.20 pm - AMB 4 
Sat. 19 Nov – 5 pm – AMB 4   


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