Film Review: “Cerro Bayo” by María Soledad Montañez, the film will be showing at the @ARGFilmFest next week
Latam Film reviewer María Soledad Montañez writes about this Argentine Film that will be showing at The London Argentine Film Festival from next week.For tickets and full program find link below.
Cerro Bayo (Victoria Galardi, Argentina, 2010)
By María Soledad Montañez
From Carlos Sorín’s Minimal Stories and Bombon, the Dog to Pablo Trapero’s Born and Bred, or the more confusingly titled, Liverpool directed by Lisandro Alonso, the photogenic region of Patagonia has been widely portrayed in recent Argentinean film productions. Victoria Galardi follows the trend by setting a family drama that intertwines emotional and economic instability in her native town in Villa La Angostura.
Written and directed by Victoria Galardi, Mount Bayo tells the story of two sisters’ reunion after their mother’s attempt to commit suicide leaves her in a coma. Mercedes (Verónica Llinás), the youngest sister, who lives in Buenos Aires, reluctantly returns to her hometown to see her mother Juana (Adela Gleijer) and support her sister Marta (Adriana Barraza).
Set in a small town in the stunning Andean mountains of Patagonia, the tragic episode occurs just before the start of the ski season at the resort named Cerro Bayo. While the mother lies in bed, the whole town awaits the arrival of the touristic season and hopes for the first signs of snow. Marta’s youngest daughter, Inés (Inés Efron, XXY, The Fish Child) has decided to enter a beauty competition to become the new queen for the festive season, as her aunt was in the past. More worried about her own looks than her grandmother’s condition, Inés believes that she needs to have an orgasm to look prettier. She assumes that her friend and closest competitor, Romina (Marcela Kloosterboer) has a better skin because she has a new boyfriend. Inés is determined to do anything she can to succeed. In contrast, Inés’ brother, Lucas, dreams of going to Andorra, but he struggles to save enough money for the trip.
Rumours spread about the possibility that Juana had won a big sum of money by betting at the local casino. Lucas discovers the place where his grandmother hid the money and quickly books his flight tickets. He has no idea that someone else knows the secret location.
Meanwhile, Mercedes sees the opportunity to use the cash to pay her debts and starts searching for the money too. Things get even more complicated when Marta’s husband, who is an estate agent, receives a tempting offer to sell a plot of land, which is the property of the comatose mother. Tensions between the two sisters grow when decisions about money, inheritance and their mother’s future come into play.
Superbly performed by an international cast, Mount Bayo is a tender film that captures the family conflicts as well as the cosiness and claustrophobic atmosphere of growing up and living in a small, remote town. In this, the film shares much more common ground with other Argentinean women filmmakers such as Lucrecia Martel’s The Swamp or Ana Katz’s Musical Chairs.
If the film appears autobiographical, eagle eyed viewers will spot that the director disowns her own project by playing a subtle trick on the audience. The name on the grandfather’s gravestone reads: Jose A. H. Smithee, an official pseudonym widely used by directors to detach themselves from their own productions.
For tickets to this film click here.
Source: María Soledad Montañez for Latam Film