The Latin ex­pe­ri­ence

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By AMY DE KAN­TER

as in years past, this year’s Latin amer­i­can Film Fes­ti­val of­fers you a taste of some­thing dif­fer­ent.

Viva Méx­ico! viva Ecuador! viva venezuela! viva Chile! viva the other six coun­tries that are con­tribut­ing to this year’s Latin amer­i­can Film Fes­ti­val at three GSC cine­mas in the Klang val­ley! viva, you may have guessed, is how we say our cel­e­bra­tory “Long live!” in Span­ish. and the cor­rect re­sponse is to echo viva! in re­sponse.

See, now you know some­thing awe­some about Latin amer­i­can cul­ture. Come to the Latin amer­i­can Film Fes­ti­val (LaFF) for more.

Film fes­ti­vals are a glo­ri­ous yearly event and here is one that has been around for a while. it also stands apart for two rea­sons. One is per­sonal – this re­viewer deeply loves Latin amer­ica, its coun­tries, its peo­ples and its cul­tures. The sec­ond is in the choice of films.

While the trend with some fes­ti­vals has been to show more modern and crowd-pleas­ing se­lec- tions, this fes­ti­val will be a de­light to tra­di­tion­al­ists. in­stead of try­ing to ac­com­mo­date the view­ers’ tastes, these films in­vite you to sam­ple new flavours.

it’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween a few days in a five-star ho­tel and a cou­ple weeks in a home­s­tay. Per­haps not for ev­ery­one, but very spe­cial to those who give it a go.

Un­for­tu­nately there is a lim­ited time to sam­ple this bufet­de­li­cioso – only four days in which to watch 12 films from 10 coun­tries, but do try to get at least one bite. and for afi­ciona­dos, the chal­lenge is great but, say it with me: Sípode­mos! (Yes, we can!)

Some se­lect films to get you in the groove:

A Pa­per Tiger (Colom­bia)

Win­ner of the Colom­bian National award for Doc­u­men­tary, Luis Ospina in­ves­ti­gates the life and work of le­gendary Colom­bian col­lage artist Pe­dro Man­rique Figuerora from 1934 to his mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ance in 1981. The artist’s elu­sive and con­tra­dic­tory story serves as a pre­text for a doc­u­men­tary about the 1960s and 70s, a pe­riod so of­ten ide­alised and mys­ti­fied, which ex­am­ines the re­la­tion­ship be­tween art and pol­i­tics, be­tween truth and lies, and be­tween doc­u­men­tary and fic­tion.

The Old House (Cuba)

Based on the clas­sic Cuban play The Old House by abe­lardo Es­torino, it does its own ask­ing and an­swer­ing of that age-old ques­tion: Can you ever go back home again? Este­ban, who left 14 years ago, re­turns when he learns that his fa­ther is dy­ing and finds that lit­tle has changed. The fam­ily’s joy at see- ing him again can­not cover for long the bit­ter­ness and re­sent­ment over Este­ban’s long ab­sence. Trapped to­gether in the fam­ily’s old house, grudges, mis­un­der­stand­ings and in­tol­er­ance bub­ble to the sur­face.

Wel­come To Your Fam­ily (Ecuador)

at the age of 14, Yan­dri has al­ready spent half of her life away from her fa­ther who im­mi­grated to Spain in hopes of find­ing a bet­ter fu­ture for his fam­ily. Jes­sica em­i­grates too, leav­ing her chil­dren to be raised by their lov­ing grand­mother. Jorge’s youngest daugh­ter was only nine months old when he em­i­grated, so she has no mem­ory of him. Wel­come To Your Fam­ily is a doc­u­men­tary that fol­lows the lives of three fam­i­lies try­ing to re­unite af­ter hard de­ci­sions and long sep­a­ra­tion.

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