Film of the week: Paraiso/Paradise

17/09/2010 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

Paraiso/Paradise (Peru, 2009)
Starring Yiliana Chong, Gabriela Tello and Joaquín Ventura
Directed by Hector Galvez
In the dry, dusty slums just outside of Lima, Peru, five friends attempt to make a future for themselves after the murder of one of their own by a rival gang. Their options, the military, university or a job with a traveling circus, all come with an obstacle that’s difficult to overcome.
Although the story could be anybody’s story in any town’s slum, Galvez introduces the audience to the harsh reality of the Peruvian condition, and how its poorer residents have dealt with the aftermath of terrorist invasions that plague the region. Galvez has the viewers focus on a twisted tree that grows in the midst of the arid terrain where these kids live; an obvious metaphor for the kids themselves. “How can it still grow?” asks one of the friends. How, indeed.
I can’t say that I was moved by the film or the performances, but the saving grace was that the stories were interesting and the landscape upon which they’re told are attention grabbing. Galvez boasts a Best Screenplay award from the Huelva (Spain) Latin American Film Festival and the honor of premiering his film at the Venice Film Festival in 2009. However, I’d only recommend this film if you have a lot of patience and are interested in films about Peru.

Source: Raquel Penzo

Entry filed under: FILM OF THE WEEK, LATIN AMERICAN FILM, PERUVIAN CINEMA. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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