Co-presented with Cinema Tropical.
During the month of January and in collaboration with New York-based Latin American film initiative Cinema Tropical, Filmatique presents four films from exciting new voices in South American cinema.
Brazilian filmmakers Helvecio Marins Jr. & Clarissa Campolina's feature documentary debut Girimunho captures matriarchal wisdom in rural Brazil, while Peruvian director Adrián Saba's first film El Limpiador (The Cleaner) depicts male friendship in dystopian Lima. Julia Vargas' Carga Sellada (Sealed Cargo) allegorizes an ecological scandal high in the Bolivian Andes; Arami Ullón's debut feature El Tiempo Nublado (Cloudy Times) examines the experience of watching one's mother growing old and the potential of catharsis in art.
Featuring the works of three female filmmakers, three feature debuts and official Foreign Language Oscar submissions from Peru, Paraguay and Bolivia, Filmatique's New South American Cinema series portrays the shifting landscape of auteur cinema in an increasingly diverse continent.
Girimunho, Helvecio Marins Jr. & Clarissa Campolina / Brazil, 2011
Bastú is an octogenarian living in the small town of São Romão in Brazil's arid north. When her husband dies in his sleep, Bastú passes the time telling stories to her grandchildren and reminiscing with friends. Her husband returns ever so often as an apparition throughout the house but Bastú goes on with her life, her unbridled optimism counterpointed by a heightened understanding of her own mortality.
Capturing the rhythms of quotidian life in rural Brazil and blending both documentary and narrative techniques, Girimunho is a richly-textured portrait of a woman in her twilight years. Helvecio Marins Jr. & Clarissa Campolina's first feature premiered at Venice Orizzonti, Toronto, San Sebastián, and Rotterdam; Minneapolis, where it won Best Emerging Filmmaker Award; and Havana, where it won the Special Jury Prize.
El Limpiador (The Cleaner), Adrián Saba / Peru, 2012
Eusebio is a forensic cleaner living in Lima, Peru. A strange epidemic has engulfed the capital— victims demonstrate cold-like symptoms which turn deadly in just 12 hours. One day Eusebio encounters Joaquín, a young boy who has been orphaned by the epidemic. Initially weary of each other's presence, Eusebio and Joaquín set forth together across the vast, desolate landscapes of a dystopian future.
Featuring minimalist genre flourishes alongside naturalistic performances, Peruvian filmmaker Adrian Saba's debut feature screened at over 100 film festivals, including a premiere at San Sebastián where it received a New Directors Award special mention; Palm Springs, where it won the New Visions/New Voices award; and Transylvania, where it won the FIPRESCI Critics' Award. El Limpiador (The Cleaner) was Peru's official entry for the foreign-language film Oscar in 2014, but was not nominated.
Carga Sellada (Sealed Cargo), Julia Vargas / Bolivia, 2015
In 1995 several cargo containers are discovered high in the Bolivian Andes. Inside are potentially toxic chemicals, and local policeman Mariscal soon becomes charged with the task of smuggling the containers into neighboring Chile. He recommissions an old train to haul the toxic waste out of Bolivia, but encounters one mishap after another, beginning with the local townspeople who know what's inside, halting the train's path.
Based on true events, Carga Sellada premiered at Havana, Palm Springs and the International Film Festival of India, where it won a Special Jury Prize. Julia Vargas' third feature was selected as the Bolivian entry for the Foreign Language Academy Award, but it was not nominated.
El Tiempo Nublado (Cloudy Times), Arami Ullón / Paraguay, 2014
Arami is a Paraguayan filmmaker living in Switzerland with her partner Patrick. For as long as she can remember, her mother has been afflicted with Parkinson's; recently, however, her situation has deteriorated and her nurse Julia can no longer care for her. Arami thus returns home to confront a situation most everyone will experience: what to do with our parents when they are sick and old.
A delicate and powerful meditation on the bond between a mother and a daughter, and the power of catharsis in art, El Tiempo Nublado (Cloudy Times) premiered at Locarno, Karlovy Vary and Visions du Réel, where it won Best First Film. Arami Ullón's debut feature was the first Paraguayan film ever to be submitted for the Foreign Language Academy Award.