Ohmigosh! We heard that there are, like, other countries out there besides the United States. For real! There's a whole bunch tucked down under Mexico! We know about tequila, and we've heard of sinsemilla, and we've definitely heard of vaqueros crossing the border and stealing jobs from Americans. But who knew those Latino guys could operate movie cameras as good as Spielberg or Scorsese!?! Normally, we go to the movies to watch films, not to read them, but a few subtitles are a small price to pay for the Latinbeat 2005 film festival.
There are seven films in the festival. Bombon, the Dog is an Argentinean movie about a gas station attendant who is laid off, gets a job at a mechanic shop, and is paid in the form of a dog, who then changes his life. The Immortal -- shot in Nicaragua, Spain, and Mexico -- follows twin brothers who end up on opposite sides of the Contra war. Jesus' Heart (Bolivia) is an absurdist comedy about a man whose wife leaves him while he is in the hospital; he steals the identity of another man to gain health coverage.
In another Argentinean movie, Moon of Avellaneda (beware, it's two hours and 22 minutes long), an old sports and social club has fallen into disrepair; the community comes together to stop a casino from being built in its place. My Best Enemy raked in the dough at the box office in Chile; it follows a group of soldiers who get lost in the pampas and realize the futility of war. Odd People Out is a documentary about gay Cubans (told through the eyes of writer Reinaldo Arenas), and What Sebastian Dreamt is a dark tale about a Spaniard who moves to the Guatemalan rainforest.
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