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Latin American Panorama
This year's Latin American Panorama section takes on a serious note. All the films are connected through their effort to describe the problematic aspects of life in contemporary Latin America. The critical attitude to social events may be the common denominator of this year. This might be one of the reasons why most films were made by established directors by men seasoned and worldly-wise. Only two out of the nine films are debuts. It is also interesting that most of the films have children or teenagers as protagonists. As if those most vulnerable were the best vehicle for showing injustice and various wrongs of today. For similar reasons, most of the protagonists in this year’s films are from lower social classes. The injustice they experience is only increased by this social disqualification.
In his feature debut, Casa Grande, Fellipe Barbosa describes the illusion of wealth. Jean's rich parents slowly and secretly get into financial problems and the family's life standard is thus coming close to the norm of the whole society. The protagonists are thus confronted with the problems that are faced by common people and start to realise the consequences of social differences yet unknown. A similar issue, but from the other side, is the focus of Franco Lolli's debut, Gente de Bien. Ten-year-old Eric is taken into the care of his father who is barely able to support them. Thanks to the kindness of the father's wealthy employer, they spend some time in her luxurious mansion during the holidays. Two Shots Fired depicts the story of a teenage boy from a middle-class family who commits a radically self-destructive act for no obvious reason. The effort to change society through politically motivated art is the main topic of Mushrooms. The phenomenon of bullying and various forms of violence are discussed in Refugee and To Kill a Man. The first film describes the struggle of a young boy's mother to escape the clutches of her aggressive partner. The second film focuses on the boundaries an ordinary man is willing to overstep in order to protect his family, himself, and his dignity. The effort to escape unsatisfactory living conditions at all costs is the central motivation of Noeli, an escort, in Sand Dollars. Noeli has many customers, but she emotionally relies most on an elderly French woman who seems to be the answer to her unsatisfactory relationship and financial situation.
Ardor truly stands out in terms of genre – stylised as a Western, the story portrays the fight of an unknown stranger against mercenaries driving farmers out of their land. According to a legend, the villagers have the ability to raise a powerful protector when in dire danger. When a nameless hero appears, one has to speculate whether he just might be the supernatural being. The catharsis of the whole section is provided by Farewell. Ninety-two-year-old Admiral realizes that his end is near. Therefore, he decides to almost ritually say goodbye to life and all its beauties. Various forms of discontent and injustice are the driving force of the protagonists in this year's Latin American Panorama section.
Ardor / El Ardor / Ardor (France, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, USA) Director: Pablo Fendrik (Latin American Panorama )
Farewell / A Despedida / Rozloučení (Brazil) Director: Marcelo Galvão (Latin American Panorama )
Gente de bien / Gente de bien / Lepší lidé (France, Colombia) Director: Franco Lolli (Latin American Panorama )
The Mushrooms / Los Hongos / Houby (Colombia) Director: Oscar Ruiz Navia (Latin American Panorama )
Refugee / Refugiado / Uprchlík (Argentina, Colombia, France, Poland, Germany) Director: Diego Lerman (Latin American Panorama )
Sand Dollars / Dólares de Arena / Plážové dolary (Dominican Rep., Mexico, Argentina) Director: Israel Cárdenas, Laura Amelia Guzmán (Latin American Panorama )
To Kill A Man / Matar a un hombre / Zabít člověka (Chile, France) Director: Alejandro Fernández Almendras (Latin American Panorama )
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