Film of the week: Porfirio by Alejandro Landes (Selected at the Toronto Film Festival)

02/09/2011 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

Porfirio is confined to a wheelchair after the police shot him in the back, but show little willingness to compensate him for the ruins that remain from his former life.
Programmer’s Note
Welcome to the true story of the Air Pirate, told from the perspective of the man himself. Porfirio Ramirez Aldana made headlines in 2005 for trying to hijack a plane to Bogotá. What made those headlines more sensational was the fact that he did so while paralyzed from the waist down. But, once upon a time, Aldana had been king of his castle: a wealthy farmer and cattle rancher, he was a respected figure in his Colombian village until a bullet lodged itself in his spine and left him disabled.

Little of this information can be gleaned from Alejandro Landes’ unusually spare nar­rative. Though Landes hints at Porfirio’s backstory, he is more concerned with the course on which that tragedy has set him. The director offers a deliberate study of a once-prominent man struggling to maintain his dignity.

Saddled with a loser son, Porfirio is forced to rent out his cell phone to make a living, but he still finds happiness when locked in a carnal embrace with his next-door neigh­bour. Soon enough, though, his past comes rushing through the door, along with a travelling salesman who acts as a catalyst for the rest of the story. We learn that Porfirio wasn’t wounded by some random stray bullet: the shots were fired by police, yet the state has consistently refused to compen­sate him. Desperate measures lead to the creation of a modern Colombian legend.

Director of photography Thimios Bakatakis looks Porfirio right in the eye, working from a low angle to create a series of fixed frames that provide a realistic glimpse into his confined life. And just as we’ve grown accus­tomed to this mesmerizing imagery that seems capable of going on forever, Porfirio changes everything by taking matters into his own two hands — the only functional limbs he has left.

Director’s Bio
Alejandro Landes was born in São Paulo, Brazil. He studied litera­ture, economics and architecture at Brown University, and went on to write for the Miami Herald and the television series Oppenheimer Presenta. He wrote, directed and produced the documentary feature Cocalero (07). Porfirio (11) is his second feature.

Source: Dimitri Eipides for TIFF


INTERVIEW | Guillermo Del Toro, Part I: Videogames, Transmedia and Here’s His E-mail Luna marches on Chavez biopic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Twitter Latam Film

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Follow us

Latin America Film Ltd on LinkedIn

RSS deleFOCO Articles

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Enter your email address to subscribe to our blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,606 other followers

%d bloggers like this: