Highlights of the festival include the Opening Night selection, THE MEXICAN SUITCASE, CHEVOLUTION director Trisha Ziff's latest documentary about a treasure trove of photographs from the Spanish Civil War recently discovered in Mexico City; MEDIANERAS, Gustavo Taretto's quirky crowd-pleaser about two lonely people finding each other in Buenos Aires; Chilean auteur Raul Ruiz's lush, labyrinthine epic MYSTERIES OF LISBON, presented in a weeklong run within the festival; BONSAI, the latest film from Chilean director Cristian Jimenez (OPTICAL ILLUSIONS), which recently premiered at Cannes; multiple award-winner HERMANO, Venezuela's Oscar selection from 2010; Brazil's ELITE SQUAD 2: THE ENEMY WITHIN, this year's biggest hit at the Latin American box office; BLACKTHORN, Spanish screenwriter-turned-director Mateo Gil's imaginatively updated Western about the final days of Butch Cassidy in Bolivia; and MISS BALA, Gerardo Naranjo's gripping thriller about a Baja, California, beauty queen caught in a maddening cycle of drug cartel violence.
THE MEXICAN SUITCASE
[La Maleta Mexicana]
In Person: Filmmaker Trisha Ziff on Sep 22!
The story of three lost boxes, found in a closet in Mexico City in 2007, that disappeared in the chaos of Europe at the beginning of World War II. Contained in the titular suitcase were 4,500 photo negatives, the work of three young European photographers: Robert Capa, David "Chim" Seymour and Gerda Taro. Exiles from different places (Hungary, Poland, Germany), they had become friends in Paris, then traveled to Spain together to fight fascism with their cameras. This fascinating documentary from Trisha Ziff (CHEVOLUTION, 2008 Silverdocs) explores not only the historical mystery of how this photographic treasure trove came to be stashed — and nearly forgotten — in a modest Mexico City apartment, but also the living history of people affected by the Spanish Civil War: in Spain, the contemporary descendants of the defeated Republicans; in Mexico, the refugee children — now senior citizens — who fled war-torn Spain for the safety of a new home. Official Selection, 2011 Karlovy Vary, Los Angeles Latino and San Sebastian Film Festivals.
DIR/SCR/PROD Trisha Ziff; PROD Eamon O'Farrill, Paco Poch. Mexico/Spain, 2011, color and b&w, 86 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Opening Night Screening: Thu, Sep 22, 7:30 (reception to follow)
Also showing: Sat, Sep 24, 5:20
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"Fresh and immensely likable...audiences will swoon for this MANHATTAN-like homage to the challenges of big-city connection." – Peter Debruge, Variety
Writer-director Gustavo Taretto's clever romantic comedy is about a couple who meet cute — though it takes the entire movie for them to finally meet. But it's clear, as they're seen repeatedly just missing each other amid the urban hubbub of Buenos Aires, that they'll be perfect for each other. Martin is a Web designer whose ambivalence about Buenos Aires, and its crazy — quilt layout, leads him to give up the chaos of the real world for the orderliness of the virtual one. Mariana is a newly single trained architect who makes do designing shop windows. These two lonely-hearts live in neighboring buildings and pass each other almost every day. If only they could meet...Opening Night, Film Society of Lincoln Center's 2011 LATIN BEAT; Official Selection, 2011 Berlin Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Gustavo Taretto; PROD Natacha Cervi, Hernán Musaluppi. Argentina/Germany/Spain, 2011, color, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Centerpiece Screening: Fri, Sep 23, 7:30
Also showing: Sat, Sep 24, 9:45
ELITE SQUAD 2: THE ENEMY WITHIN [Tropa de Elite 2 – O Inimigo Agora É Outro]
The biggest earner in Brazilian cinema history and a juggernaut across the Latin American box office, writer-director-producer Jose Padilha expands upon his Berlinale-winning original, moving beyond Rio de Janiero police brutality to pursue the bigger game of political corruption. After a disastrous prison riot, police chief Nascimento (Wagner Moura) is transferred to a desk job. Coolly Machiavellian, he plots how to once again rise to the top, but it will mean taking on entrenched interests and brazenly brutal double dealers, from the police on the streets all the way to the top of the political ladder. Official Selection, 2011 Sundance, Berlin Film Festivals.
DIR/SCR/PROD José Padilha; SCR Bráulio Mantovani; PROD Marcos Prado. Brazil, 2010, color, 115 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Centerpiece Screening: Sat, Oct 1, 7:00
Also showing: Fri, Sep 30, 9:30
"In the end Emilia dies and Julio does not die." So begins Julio's (Diego Noguera) recounting of his college love affair with Emilia (Nathalia Galgani), eight years ago. In the present day, Julio is hired by the novelist Gazmuri (Hugo Medina) to transcribe his latest manuscript. But inveterate fantasist Julio tells his neighbor/lover Blanca (Trinidad Gonzalez) that they are in fact collaborating, on something that more and more resembles Julio's own story than Gazmuri's manuscript. Cristian Jimenez's (OPTICAL ILLUSIONS, 2010 AFI Latin American Film Festival) bittersweet, sexy adaptation of Alejandro Zambra's cult novella blurs the line between fact and fiction. Official Selection, 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Cristián Jiménez; SCR based on the novel by Alejandro Zambra; PROD Bruno Bettati, Julie Gayet, Nadia Turincev. Chile/France/Argentina/Portugal, 2011, color, 92 min. In English, Spanish and Latin with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Centerpiece Screening: Fri, Sep 30, 7:30
Also showing: Sat, Oct 1, 3:00
In Person: filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo on Oct 7!
Gerardo Naranjo's riveting thriller about a Baja California beauty queen caught up in a maddening cycle of drug cartel violence is the AFI alum's most impressive, innovative and unforgettable film yet. Newcomer Stephanie Sigman impresses in an unusually demanding role as a Tijuana teen who, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, is forced against her will into increasingly dangerous undertakings for a local gang. Naranjo's film DRAMA/MEX played in the 2007 AFI Latin American Film Festival; his follow-up I'M GOING TO EXPLODE [Voy a Explotar] was the 2009 Opening Night Presentation. Official Selection, 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Gerardo Naranjo; SCR Mauricio Katz; PROD Pablo Cruz. Mexico, 2011, color, 113 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Closing Night: Fri, Oct 7, 7:45
Also showing: Wed, Oct 12, 7:30
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