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Screening as part of the Ibero American Film Festival: A strutting little macho man at age 11, Chala has had reason to mature awfully fast: He’s the sole supporter of the Havana household he shares with his slovenly, volatile mother, Sonia, who appears to be unemployed. (It’s hinted that she may occasionally practice the world’s oldest profession.) In any case, she’s a frequently drunk and disorderly mess who confesses she hasn’t the faintest idea who his father is. As a result, Chala holds things together as best he can, raising pigeons for sale and keeping hounds for illegal dogfighter Ignacio, who’s also Mom’s occasional squeeze and thus one of presumably many paternity candidates. The sole supportive element in Chala’s life is Carmela, a grade-school teacher soldiering on well past retirement age, is steadfast in her commitment to hard-luck charges like him, in the hope that he’ll turn out better than former students Sonia and Ignacio. Cuba’s Oscar submission in 2012
Screening as part of the Ibero American FIlm Festival: 30 years ago, Carlos and Margarita were the most famous tango couple in the world. Carlos now lives in Madrid, enjoying the second opportunity that life has given him, and Margarita lives in Buenos Aires immersed in solitude and oblivion. A sudden event will force the couple to reunite and to start a journey on the roads of Argentina, together with their longtime friend Pichuquito. A road-trip which will make them face their memories, their fears, but above all their true desires. Film as tender as it is bitter, not without touches of black humor helping to soften its taciturn essence, “Empieza el baile” was presented in the official selection of the 26th Málaga Film Festival, where it won two prices: the Audience’s Choice Award and Best Supporting Actor for Jorge Marrale.
Screening as part of the Ibero American Film Festival: From one of the masterminds of Portuguese cinema, António da Cunha Telles (inventor of the so-called “Novo Cinema Português” or New Portuguese Cinema), Kiss Me tells the story of Laura, a woman who provokes intense desire and obsessive passions, fascinating every man who approaches her. Fleeing the north of Portugal for the less fascist south, and desperate for the freedom and pleasures of America, Laura transforms herself into Marilyn Monroe. As Marilyn, Marisa Cruz’s stunning beauty and impressive acting leave the viewer eager for more minutes in her stimulating company. Director António da Cunha Telles has produced many Portuguese movie blockbusters, including the Academy Award winner Belle Epoque, directed by Fernando Trueba.
Screening as part of the Ibero American Film Festival: Dhalia works for an alternative radio station as she collects boyfriends and words, not yet knowing what to do with them. Lovingly, she raises Cosmo, her 2 year-old child. Laia is Dhalia’s mother, an ethnobotanist in charge of the Botanical Gardens in Mexico’s University, with an extensive body of work and field research. Blanquita has a secret life: her teenage granddaughter, dead a long time ago, lingers around in a variety of ways that only Blanquita can perceive. Lala experiences some disturbing moments and Dhalia realizes something is wrong with her mother. When Lala is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease she asks her daughter to help her out “before her brain gets completely disorganized.” She gives Dhalia her latest research on plants and herbal remedies “that cure the human soul” according to the Mexican pre-columbian tradition. Dhalia is thus submerged in a compelling journey into her mother’s mind and memories, as well as into her own identity. Her journey into the chemistry of the plants and the chemistry of the brain is embraced by her herbs and flowers, infusions and rituals, cactuses, tree barks and ancient remedies, buzzing insects, rocks, mushrooms, and the almost magical variety of forms in which nature manifests itself as a comfort for human emotions and the inevitability of death.
Screening as part of the Ibero American Film Festival: Rá, Culebro, Sere, Winny and Nano, five street kids from Medellin, five kings without a kingdom, with no law and no family, looking for The Promised Land. The five will embark on a trip to claim a piece of land that Rá inherited after a long process of land restitution. The Kings of the world is a subversive tale about a savage and lovely clan that transits between reality and delirium. A Journey to nowhere where anything can happen. Director Laura Mora, who made a splash with her debut, Killing Jesus, joins forces with top Colombian producer-director Cristina Gallego (Oscar-nominated The Embrace of the Serpent) to deliver Kings of the World. The film portrays with strong poetic undertones the reality of the injustice and exclusion suffered by those who lack basic rights such as a name, a family, a place and a date of birth.
Screening as part of the Ibero American Film Festival: Narrated by Cecilia Roth, the movie features the survivors of the mythical rock band Tequila: Ariel Rot, Alejo Stivel and Felipe Lipe. The film tells the tale of the legendary rock band who provided the soundtrack for the liberation of young Spanish people during the transition to democracy from the Francoist dictatorship (1975-1982). Five young people who suddenly pull off their dream of making good and those destroyed by the fame and success. But their songs have succeeded in lasting over time as indestructible classics.
Screening as part of the Ibero-American Film Festival: Carmen, a 50-year-old housewife from a middle-class family, enjoys a comfortable life in Santiago with her successful and respected doctor husband Miguel and their adult children. In the winter of 1976, three years after Augusto Pinochet seized power in Chile through a coup and established a military dictatorship, Carmen travels to her summer house to oversee renovation work and take some time for herself. While there, Father Sánchez, the priest of the small coastal town, asks for her help in caring for Elías, a young man who is part of the resistance against the dictator, has been wounded by a bullet, and has taken refuge with him. Because Carmen has medical knowledge and had once aspired to study medicine herself, and has also been involved in charitable projects in the church, she agrees to assist.
Screening as part of the Ibero American Film Festival: Virgilio Martinez is much more than a chef, he is an artist. Although his Central restaurant in Lima, Peru, is considered to be the best of the decade in Latin America and number 1 in the world, and his wife Pía León is considered to be the world’s best female chef, his inspiration, research and creative work goes much further than these recognitions. Virgilio is an explorer of Peru’s different regions, giving its origin to the revolutionary concept of the “World in Altitudes”, based on the elevations of the earth that forever changed the way local gastronomy is seen in today’s world.