Fes­ti­val ends with films from S Amer­ica

Whanganui Chronicle - - 48 Hours/Arts - Staff Re­porter

The Latin Amer­ica and Spain Film Fes­ti­val comes to an end to­day with the show­ing of an Ecuado­rian mock­u­men­tary, fol­lowed by a ro­man­tic com­edy from Ar­gentina.

2016 film A Se­cret in the Box (Un se­creto en la caja) laments the plight of Ecuador, rel­e­gated to the role of lit­tle cousin to its big­ger and more suc­cess­ful neigh­bours in South Amer­ica.

With Ecuador never hav­ing a No­bel prize-win­ning lit­er­ary fig­ure to ri­val Colom­bia’s Gabriel Garc´ıa

Ma´ rquez, Ar­gentina’s Borges, Peru’s Mario Var­gas Llosa or Chile’s Pablo Neruda, di­rec­tor Javier Izquierdo is forced to in­vent Marcelo Chiri­boga, a fic­tional fa­mous au­thor, to ex­plore the coun­try’s iden­tity cri­sis.

Pok­ing fun at the lit­er­ary world and the na­tion’s pa­thetic his­tory of ced­ing ter­ri­tory to its neigh­bours over many decades of war, Izquierdo high­lights the pol­i­tics, pre­oc­cu­pa­tions and ob­ses­sions of his home­land. Chiri­boga, “the trop­i­cal Kafka,” be­comes the last ves­tige of a coun­try at risk of fad­ing into obliv­ion.

The ro­man­tic com­edy which closes the fes­ti­val later in the evening could not be more dif­fer­ent. Ariel Wino­grad’s No Kids (Sin hi­jos) was a ma­jor hit in Ar­gentina and ran twelve weeks at Num­ber 1.

No kids tells the story of Gabriel, di­vorced for four years, who dotes on his eight-year-old daugh­ter Sofia.

Then the woman of his dreams comes into his life, and she hates chil­dren.

To stand a chance of win­ning her heart he must con­ceal Sofia’s ex­is­tence, which leads him into ev­er­thicker sub­terfuge and en­tan­gle­ment.

Lead ac­tor Diego Peretti, an Ar­gen­tinian Hugh Grant, goes from strength to strength as the con­ti­nent’s top com­i­cally neu­rotic ro­man­tic lead. Vet­eran Span­ish ac­tress Mari­bel Verdu is not best known for com­edy but here does fine work as the child­pho­bic ro­man­tic lover.

The Se­cret in the Box screens at 4pm, and No Kids screens at 7pm on Satur­day 10 Novem­ber at the Davis Lec­ture The­atre, Whanganui Re­gional Mu­seum, Watt St. En­try to both films is free, koha



Diego Peretti and Mari­bel Verdu in a scene from No Kids (Sin hi­jos) screen­ing at the Latin fes­ti­val in Whanganui.

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