Cine Latino Festival

Cine Latino Film Festival: The Plus Ones’ Guide

Australia! Behold! The sights and sounds of Latin America are coming to the big screen from 9 – 24 August in Sydney and 17 – 31 August in Melbourne. Set in various Palace Cinemas venues, the Cine Latino Film Festival will showcase more than 30 films from this vibrant region of the world  including the Cannes Nominated Film ‘Neruda’.

A national first-timer, the program brings together new films from Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala and Puerto Rico. Not sure what to watch? Here are our top picks:

Set in Chile in 1948, ‘Neruda’ tells the story of a poet. The Cold War has reached Chile. In Congress, Pablo Neruda accuses the government of betraying the Communist ideals and supporting the United States capitalistic interests. Then, the State turns on him. The young Police prefect Oscar Peluchonneau (interpreted by Gael Garcia Bernal) is determined to hunt the poet down in a desperate attempt to make a name for himself, but is not prepared to face the wit and thirst for drama that characterizes Neruda.

‘Neruda’ can only be described as director Pablo Larraín’s most audacious film. The limits between who is the hunter and who is being hunted are constantly blurred in an intimate dance that flirts with the possibility of death for both characters. It also provides a gripping insight into the poet’s mind, where life itself is just a game – an intricate plot that he designs and sketches to his will.

With clear strokes of magical realism, Larraín managed to make a film that is not only poetic in itself, but that criticizes some of the most notable political contradictions of the XX Century: If communism prevailed, would everyone be as rich as Neruda? Who was he really fighting for, the people or himself? Did the government really want to kill him or had Peluchonneau just set out on an impossible quest that no one wanted him to achieve in the first place?

Neruda is a fascinating story that catches the audience from beginning to end. Full with rich storytelling, it is definitely a cinematic piece not to be missed.

I promise you anarchy
What is it like to live in Mexico City’s slums, work for the black market and be gay? This vivid drama reminds us of Iñárritu’s 2001 debut ‘Amores Perros’ while portraying some of the current hardships citizens of Mexico’s capital face today.  

3 Beauties
This Venezuelan black comedy centres on Perla and her daughter Carolina. Perla is determined to turn her daughters into beauty queens but does not know how far Carolina is willing to go to please her.

The violin teacher
Inspired by the true story of the Baccarelli Institute, ‘The Violin Teacher’ tells the story of Laerte, a violinist, and the transformative journey he embarks on as he works as a music teacher in a favela (or slum) and finds students with incredible potential.

Dance aficionados will rejoice watching Carlos Saura’s ‘Argentina’. Filmed in a converted warehouse in Buenos Aires, the film shows the past, present and future of the country’s music and dance heritage.

– Lourdes Lourdes Zamanillo is a Mexican journalist that recently moved to Australia to study a Master’s in Sustainable Tourism. She loves words, travelling, and (above all) feeling surprised.

The Cine Latino Film Festival will be running in Sydney (9-24 August), Canberra (16-31 August), Adelaide (11-24 August), Brisbane (12-24 August) and Melbourne (17-31 August). Various Palace Cinemas are participating. Buy tickets now.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Asha Holmes Publicity and Cine Latino Festival.