October 15, 2019
This year, the Latin American Film Festival Cinemaissí casts light on the transgression and the battle of the so-called minorities that raise their voices and demand to be heard. Powerful themes are packaged into a diverse yet compact selection that highlights the big return of the festival.
The diversity can be seen in films directed by female directors and spoken in native languages as well as in themes addressing ethnicity, feminism and LGTBQ+ issues.
Throughout the selection, these topics are treated from a more sensitive point of view instead of simply portraying the phenomenons and the people related to them as objects under the normative patriarchal eye.
The festival opens with a brilliant visual narrative Retablo (Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio), that speaks us in Quechuan language. The film tells about the love that a son professes for his father, despite of the truth and the devastating internal conflict.
Identity, gender and the battles of the LGTBQ+ community are explored for example in Bixa Travesti (Tranny Fag, by Kiko Goifman & Claudia Priscilla), a vibrant documentary on the challenges of living as a poor and black transgender person in São Paulo. Furthermore, the drowned screams shall be surfaced in El Despertar de las Hormigas (The Awekening of the Ants by Antonella Sudasassi Furniss), as a woman fights against the system that wants to dominate her body and the education of her daughters.
This year’s selection gives the stage to all generations. On one hand, the documentaries Espero tua (re)volta (Your Turn by Eliza Capai) and Una banda de chicas (A Girls’ Band by Marilina Giménez) as well as the fictitious Esto No es Berlín (This is not Berlin by Hari Zama) tell stories about the struggles of the young generation that is striving to break the status quo of an archaic, homophobic and chauvinistic society. On the other hand, Candelaria (Jhonny Hendrix) and Las Herederas (The Heiresses by Marcelo Martinessi) are hearty stories about the most unexpected forms of survival of two long marriages, one in Paraguay and the other one in Cuba after Fidel Castro.
The films this year indicate that the Latin American cinema is taking a distance from politicians and governors to manifest the inequality, injustice and corruption through the eyes of those who suffer the most because of them.
La Familia (The Family by Gustavo Rondón Córdova) presents a father that is desperate to get his son out the violent favelas. El Ángel (Luis Ortega) is about the irrational and inevitable violence of a young man living in the dictatorship in Argentina, and Arrieros (Marcelo Curia) observes the gradual disappearance of a culture and a form of life due to globalization.
As always, all good things must come to an end. The festival closes with Pájaros de Verano (Birds of Passage by Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra), a story narrated in Wayuu language about the honour of two clans that are fighting against the inevitable destruction of their values and traditions due to money, corruption and power.
Cinemaissí is blossoming, thanks to the hard work of the production team and our faithful audience. It will be amazing to see you all again in Cinemaissí – we have missed you!
Carlos Marroquín, Artistic Director