Find out about five of the best Latin movies of this year and why you should watch them if you haven't yet.
Posters of the films ‘Infection’, ‘Chicuarotes’ and ‘Blanco en blanco’. / Photos: filmaffinity.com, allcalidad.net, cicnechile.cl
LatinAmerican Post | Iván Parada Hernández
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Leer en español: 5 películas que nos deja el cine latinoamericano este 2019
Latin America grows every year that passes in its film production. With the excellent works of filmmakers such as Mexicans Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón or the Colombian Ciro Guerra, more eyes turn to the region and what it can offer the world with typically Latin stories. LatinAmerican Post will review five of the works that sprang from our best directors and their legacy to our cinema.
The first of these is Infección, a Venezuelan film by director Flavio Pedota, which deals with an outbreak of rage in that country, which emulates the popular zombie pests that are a fetish of American industry. What is striking about infection , beyond what it can offer on its own, is its context. The Venezuelan government offered to release the film as "foreigner" because it touches the crisis that is going through the country from an internal point of view, which sparked a protest by Pedota who refused to release the film under those conditions.
“Today, [what was] for many an absurd decision, for me it is a cry of complaint [to remember] the country we were, the greatness of the Venezuelan. They [will] have taken everything from us, but we still have the greatest freedom that a human can have, and that is how we can react to injustices. ”Pedota said in a statement through his Instagram.
Infección may raise dust for reasons beyond its qualities, however, the valiant position of its director shows one of the objectives of art in a region like Latin America. Artistic expressions should bother and this is what this piece of zombies has done in the government of Nicolás Maduro, showing the effects of his management in the Venezuelan people. Only that reason should be enough to be supported by those who like movies, and if not, watching a zombie movie made by one of us is worth it, isn't it?
Monos, directed by Alejandro Landes, is a Colombian film that tells the story of a group of young guerrillas who are in charge of protecting a foreign "doctor" in the midst of an overwhelming jungle. In the eyes of many, this is a firm candidate to be a protagonist in the awards season next year, with an excellent photograph and an excellent proposal that constantly provokes the audience.
It was already included among the participants of the Goya 2020 Awards, one of the most important awards of Latin American cinema, in addition to having already received awards in Sundance, Buenos Aires, Viña del Mar, Berlin and Cartagena. If there are two statements of this film, it is that, first, there is the ability in Latin America of visually stunning stories and with an argumentative hook, far from big capitals. The second is that the look towards the Colombian conflict, although a commonplace in the cinematography of that country, still has unexplored nuances.
Chicuarotes, directed by actor Gael García Bernal, is a Mexican film that deals with two young people who make a living personifying clowns and getting on public transport for a living. Faced with the adversities that less favored classes have to go through, the main characters decide to rob the passengers of the buses to achieve a better life.
The issues of inequality are not new in Latin American cinema, they practically feed it, but the criticism of the lack of opportunities that millions of us have to deal with from all possible angles is always valid. War, drug trafficking, capitalism, all are factors that have to be scrutinized with a critical eye and are films like these that give us that opportunity.
4. Esto no es Berlín
Esto no es Berlín, a Mexican film directed by Hari Sama, eludes the phenomenon of presentism in Latin American cinema and explores the youth of the eighties through Carlos and Rita, both with a special relationship with music. Once this passion takes them to the Aztec club, they are exposed to all the possibilities of sexuality and drugs, diametrically opposed to a conservative society.
It is not a tendency of our cinema to review the recent past if it is not about violence or drug trafficking, that is why this look of Sama is refreshing; to give voice to a generation by itself and not in spite of itself. A historical context makes all the difference between a film like this and "Climax" by Gaspar Noé.
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5. Blanco en Blanco
Finally, Blanco en Blanco, a Chilean film directed by Theó Court, turns out to be a most evocative proposal about a dark period in the southern country. Pedro is a photographer who is called to register the wedding of the powerful Mr. Potter, who will marry the very young Sara. Pedro must face a nascent obsession with the little fiancée of his boss while witnessing – and capturing – the brutality of the civilization of Chileans towards the south.
The value of Court's movie is not only a breathtaking photograph, but the reconstruction of a historical episode in the context of the conquest of indigenous lands by Chilean pioneers. A critical look at the concept of "civilization" after the processes of independence in Latin America, as well as being an opportunity to experience a period drama from our region.