Film from DR in Latin American Competition Feature Film

34th FICVIÑA: 6 films from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic are part of the Latin American Feature Fiction Competition.

  • This is one of the main competitive categories of the Viña del Mar International Film Festival, which this year will be held entirely in person between Monday, November 14 and Saturday, November 19.
  • The screenings will take place in four venues: Cine Arte, Cinemark Mall Marina Arauco, Cinemark Espacio Urbano and the Aldo Francia Hall of the Palacio Rioja. All screenings are free admission.

One of the most important competitive categories of the Viña del Mar International Film Festival is the Latin American Feature Fiction Competition, which this year will feature 6 films from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic.

The 34th version of FICVIÑA will be held entirely in person between Monday, November 14 and Saturday, November 19. The screenings will take place in four venues: Cine Arte, Cinemark Mall Marina Arauco, Cinemark Espacio Urbano and the Aldo Francia Hall of the Palacio Rioja. All screenings are free admission.

Present unsettled by unresolved pasts

The selection of these 6 works evidences the searches of contemporary filmmakers who, with diverse approaches to language, connect in a profound way with the political contexts of Latin America. “Present unsettled by unresolved pasts, fragile territories, violence and classism are part of what appears and is revealed in this selection. Establishing bridges with the past, with the documentary, with inhabiting and power relations is where the films selected in this category transit and propose,” analyzes Claudio Pereira, artistic director of FICViña.

The films in competition are:ççç

“Utama” (Alejandro Loayza Grisi, Bolivia/Uruguay/France, 2022).

In the arid Bolivian altiplano, an elderly Quechua couple has been living the same daily routine for years. When an unusually long drought threatens their entire way of life, Virginio and Sisa are faced with the dilemma of resisting or being defeated by the passage of time. In Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s surprising debut feature, the three will confront, each in their own way, their environment, the need for change and the meaning of life.

“Alejandro Loayza Grisi, who is part of a family of outstanding filmmakers in Bolivia, builds a beautiful story spoken in Quechua with two old men who live in a lost corner of the altiplano and witness the passage of time away from any modern accessory. High above, there is a silent struggle between listening to a nature threatened by ourselves or listening to our own bodies, opposing visions that raise questions about the responsibility of affecting the natural balance,” Pereira praises.

“Lxs desobedientes” (Nadir Medina, Argentina, 2022).

Alicia, a trolleybus driver, accidentally gets involved in a rebellion against a despotic and totalitarian regime. After a mysterious episode, Alicia joins a group of disobedient people and confronts the security forces, rekindling the spirit of the rebellious Cordoba of the late 1960s.

“It is a contemporary work that dialogues with all times, since if we assume that there is an immobile present and a past that has been overcome, we are accepting a politically obedient position to hegemonic logics and narratives. “Lxs desobedientes” makes a bridge with the social movements of Argentina in 1969 building a disturbing story where the uncertainty of a past of 53 years ago not only has not been overcome by the current Latin American economy and political class, but has worsened to a scandalous level, and that its responsible is called neoliberalism”, highlights Claudio Pereira.

“Cordially Teus” (Aimar Labaki, Brazil, 2022)

Ten stories or one. ten moments in the timeline? 1972, 1999, 1550, 2083, 2083, 1891, 2012, 1618 – and the same reality: violence giving the final face to relationships in Brazil. A slave revolt on a coffee plantation, the torture of an Indian, the kidnapping of an ambassador, Jews hiding from the Inquisition, a tortured woman who sees her torturer in the audience to whom she tells of the crime committed by him, father and son talking during the Second War, a widow who lost everything in the Encilhada and is forced to marry and lose her freedom.

“Thinking about the past, present and future of a country seems a necessary exercise in times of crisis. Aimar Labaki dissects Brazil through ten stories that span from the year 1566 to a dystopian 2066. The anthology, whose stories have connections among themselves, thus functions as a sort of universal history of infamy that traces racism, violence, authoritarianism and social inequality in the origins of civilization, from the Inquisition, through the military dictatorship and the unbridled capitalism of our days to nightmares about the future. The interesting thing is that Labaki raises serious issues without forgetting humor and irony, ingredients sometimes necessary to digest the weight of the world”, analyzes Andrés Nazarala, FICVIÑA Programmer.

“The Great Movement” (Kiro Russo, Bolivia, 2021).

After walking for a week, Elder and his fellow miners arrive in La Paz to demand the reinstatement of their work. Suddenly, Elder begins to feel ill… With the help of elderly Mama Pancha, Elder and his friends find work in the market. But Elder’s condition worsens, he drowns and struggles to breathe… Mama Pancha sends him to Max, a sorcerer, hermit and clown, who could bring him back to life.

“Bolivian Kiro Russo (“Viejo Calavera”) is often highlighted for his tendency to work with non-actors and his look at the lives of mine workers, passive victims of a heartless capitalism. In his films, however, there are other less concrete distinctive elements, ungraspable virtues that transform his works into sensorial experiences that transcend any discourse. In that sense, “The Great Movement” is more than the chronicle of a group of Huanuni miners who decide to walk for a week to demand better working conditions. It is also the sensorial portrait of a city. An architectural cadastre, a symphony of sounds and voices,” says Andrés Nazarala, FICVIÑA Programmer.

“Carajita” (Silvina Schnicer, Ulises Porra, Dominican Republic/Argentina, 2021)

Sara and her nanny Yarisa have a relationship that seems to transcend their social class: they are the closest thing to a daughter and a mother, but an accident breaks into their lives and tests the innocent illusion that nothing will separate them.Carajita Largometraje

“Yarisa and Sara: two different women in their conformation with a bond of tense dimensions. The film sheds light on the construction of contrasts in social, corporal and power matters, resulting in a work that skirts topics such as class, the dominant and dominated sectors and the search for justice. An accident is the excuse to implode in the lives of both women, exposing other actions and sensations between them and their represented universe. With a stylized staging, as a narrative and expressive resource, it undoubtedly leaves a clear scenario on the main text of the work, which is the absence of social justice,” says Bernabé Demozzi, FICVIÑA Programmer.

“Hilda’s Vacation” (Agustín Banchero, Uruguay/Brazil, 2021)

Hilda is a lonely woman who lives in the town of Concepción. She intentionally breaks off any kind of affective relationship with the people around her. Her life is interrupted by the notice that her son is coming to visit her after several years. So she begins preparations to improve her house and her image, which has declined in recent times. On the date, her son cancels the visit and postpones it indefinitely. Now Hilda will have to live a summer in the past.

“Uruguayan Agustín Banchero is a filmmaker, visual artist and playwright, but we could add another profession: watchmaker. Yes, because “Hilda’s Vacation” works as a precise and complex clock that juxtaposes past and present through the memory of Hilda, a lonely and isolated woman in the town of Concepción, whose sad existence is suddenly shaken by an unexpected visit. Banchero builds the story on the complex dynamics of memory, putting together a mysterious puzzle that the viewer must solve by putting the pieces together and confronting the omissions as he or she embarks on a journey full of visual poetry, silences and the mists of intrigue. “Hilda’s Vacation, which premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival, is a highly intense cinematic experience,” said Andrés Nazarala, FICVIÑA Programmer.

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