Held over 18 days in April, Canada’s Latin American Film Festival played host to 17 film screenings. Now in its 23rd year, the cultural event pays tribute to the diversity and creativity of Latin American Cinema. Since its inception, the festival has screened 307 premieres of Latin American films, hosted 26 visiting filmmakers and attracted almost 65,000 film-enthusiasts. Unlike most Hollywood movies, Latin American films tend to explore the numerous levels of the lives of ordinary people, says film expert Diego Hernández at MONDEROSMART. The films screened at this year’s festival are a case in point. Here are five movies that amused and intrigued the event’s audience earlier this year.
Tomorrow Don’t Forget / Mañana No Te Olvides
This Dominican Republic film explores the relationship between Jan, a 17-year-old boy with down syndrome, and Roberto, his grandfather, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. After the passing away of Roberto’s wife, his daughter decides to take him in, as she is worried that he may no longer be able to take care of himself. She is surprised when Jon and Roberto discover that they have a lot in common. As the duo’s relationship deepens, they come up with a bucket list of things that they still want to do and hit the road to make them happen.
Roads in February / Les Routes en Février
This entry from Uruguay tells the story or Sarah who, after the death of her father, travels from Montreal to a village in Uruguay to visit her grandmother Magda. Sarah, who left Uruguay with her family over ten years ago, is spurred on by memories of her childhood. This atmospheric films sees Sarah renew her relationship with the country of her birth and her bond with her grandmother, as she struggles to come to terms with the death of her son.
The Second Mother / Que Horas Ela Volta?
Filmed in Brazil, the Second Mother looks at the country’s class differences and family life. Val is a live-in housekeeper in Sao Paulo who happily takes care of her employer’s needs. She cleans, cooks and looks after her employer’s teenage son as if he were her own. When Val’s confident and ambitious daughter Jessica turns up without warning, the seemingly comfortable situation is thrown into sharp focus. Jessica does not accept the established dynamics, forcing everyone to rethink the real meaning of family.
Rosa Chumbe/ Rosa Chumbe
Set in Lima, Peru, Rosa Chumbe is a deeply troubled police officer. She has a drinking and gambling problem, and issues with her daughter Sheyla who has a young baby and still lives at home. When Sheyla gets pregnant again, she steals all of Rosa’s saving and leaves. Rosa is suddenly forced to look after her grandson. Will Rosa be able to deal with the responsibility of taking care of a child?
The Sound of Things / El Sonido de las Cosas
This tale of pain and hope from Costa Rica is centered around Claudia, a nurse who deeply cares about her job and saving lives. Things are very different in her personal life, however. She is in the process of looking for a new roommate as secretly struggles to come to terms with her cousin’s recent suicide. While Claudia tries to hide her anguish, the sudden arrival of an old acquaintance with an illness caused her to reevaluate life and loss.