LondonNet’s Cinema and Film Guide
Discovering Latin America Film Festival
The Discovering Latin America group has been putting on film festivals for some time now. Recently the 5th DLA Film Festival flooded through the cinema community in London, bringing contemporary and classic films by directors ranging from up-and-comers to legends.
Five theatres scattered from the West End down to Southwark rolled films from Mexico and areas south of there. Highlights of the festival included Buenos Aires 1977, winner of the Golden Palm at the Cannes Festival this year. This Argentine film follows a small paramilitary group working for the fascist military government. This group kidnaps Claudio Tamburrini, the goalkeeper for an inconsequential football team.
Another film of note to play the festival is House of Sand. This Brazilian film is set in the remote wilderness of Maranhao, a small pocket of rainforest surrounded by massive stretches of sand dunes. Into this forbidding landscape an idealistic Vasco draws his wife Aurea, an urbane socialite who now has almost no company at all. This film won both the Alfred P Sloan Feature Film Prize and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
The festival also includes several retrospectives, including a six-part collection by one of the progenitors of Mexican cinema Arturo Ripstein. Ripstein began his career in 1965 with Tiempo de Morir (Time to Die). Since then he has helmed dozens of films and television series, including some of the most famous Mexican films ever made. In a rare coup, the DLA group has also secured him for a panel discussion along with director Emilio Maille and headed by the Minister of Cultural Affairs of Mexico, Ignacio Duran.
Besides Ripstein, the DLA will be continuing their ongoing series examining European directors' work in Mexico, this year including visionaries such as Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Luis Bunuel. These famous directors helped to get the ball rolling in regards to Latin American cinema, so it's only fair that the festival gives praise where it's due.
- Nicholas Carter