This past weekend the Latin Beat festival came to Osaka (from Tokyo, where many more people attended the movies, including two parties with invited directors and actors).
Me, in spite of my 風邪 (cold but not influenza), saw two of them: the Spanish “Camino” and the Chilean “La Buena vida”. Both of them had things in common in their obvious differences of style and tone. Both have a dark side with deaths of young people but at the same time a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel hope.
Javier Fesser’s “Camino” is a sharp critic of the Spanish and Catholic institution of the Opus Day and their out-of-the-real-world ways but their insistence in power and money. His plot, based on the real story of a 12 year-old girl with terminal cancer in 1985, now dead and in process of beatification, shows the manipulation of the Institution and its priests, involved with the family at different levels. Fesser very successfully mixes reality and fantasy, things that happen outside and inside the main character’s mind, represented by Nerea Camacho, who in justice was awarded with the Goya to the best new actress.
Chilean “La Buena Vida” is darker if possible because of the constant pessimistic tone of the movie, maybe in relation with an economic crisis and the lack of hope for the future of the youth in that country -on the other side, one of the best in Latin America, economically speaking-. Different stories intermix in a kind of a chaotic destiny: a clarinet young musician desperate to get a position at the Philharmonic, a divorced social assistant with a pregnant 15 year-old daughter, a hair-dresser at 40 with financial problems and still living with his mother, a young drug-addict with a baby. All but one of them happened to have, if not a happy ending, a possible future one, with the characters assuming their problems and miseries and even laughing ant themselves –so Chilean, that-.
I wish many more festivals like this would come to Kansai.