Iberoamerican Film Week: discover the best of Latin American Cinema

CHILE 1976
Chile '76. (Photo: Twitter/X)
Iberoamerican Film Week, kicks off today at 8 pm, will be a great opportunity to discover new films from the Iberoamerican region. The festival is also a chance to meet other film lovers and learn more about the cinema of this diverse and vibrant region.اضافة اعلان

The Iberoamerican Film Week, organized by the RFC in collaboration with the Brazilian, Spanish, Mexican, Venezuelan, Panamanian, Argentinian, and Chilean Embassies in Jordan, will take place from Sunday, September 3 to Tuesday, September 12 at the RFC's Outdoor Amphitheater in Amman.

Iberoamerican cinema refers to the films produced in Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The region has a rich and diverse film history, dating back to the early 20th century.

One of the earliest Iberoamerican filmsOne of the earliest Iberoamerican films is "Cabiria" (1914), an Italian-Spanish silent film directed by Giovanni Pastrone. The film was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to popularize the epic film genre.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Iberoamerican cinema experienced a golden age. During this period, many important films were produced, including "Maria Candelaria" (1943) by Emilio Fernandez (Mexico), "La guerra gaucha" (1942) by Lucas Demare (Argentina), and "O cangaceiro" (1953) by Lima Barreto (Brazil).

Explore a wide range of themes
These films explored a wide range of themes, including social realism, political resistance, and cultural identity. They helped to establish Iberoamerican cinema as a force to be reckoned with.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Iberoamerican cinema continued to flourish. This period saw the rise of the New Latin American Cinema movement, which was characterized by its political and experimental nature.

Some of the most important films of this period include "La hora de los hornos" (1968) by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino (Argentina), "Amores perros" (2000) by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Mexico), and "Central do Brasil" (1998) by Walter Salles (Brazil).

These films challenged the status quo and explored the complex social and political realities of the region. They helped to make Iberoamerican cinema a global phenomenon.

From commercial blockbusters to independent arthouse films
In recent years, Iberoamerican cinema has continued to evolve and diversify. There is now a wide range of films being produced in the region, from commercial blockbusters to independent arthouse films.

Some of the most recent Iberoamerican films to have gained international acclaim include "Roma" (2018) by Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico), "El hoyo" (2019) by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia (Spain), and "La Llorona" (2019) by Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala).

These films demonstrate the continued vitality of Iberoamerican cinema. They are a testament to the creativity and talent of filmmakers from the region.

Common themes explored in Iberoamerican films:
Social realism: This genre of film depicts the harsh realities of life for the working class and the poor.

Political resistance: These films often deal with themes of oppression and injustice, and they often call for social change.
Cultural identity: These films explore the unique cultures and traditions of the Iberoamerican region.

Gender and sexuality: These films often challenge traditional gender roles and explore the diversity of sexual experiences.
The environment: These films raise awareness of environmental issues and the importance of sustainability.

The selected films to be screened:

"Argentina, 1985"Sunday
Argentina, 1985 is a 2022 Argentine drama film directed by Santiago Mitre. The film tells the true story of the trial of the leaders of the Argentine military junta that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983. The film stars Ricardo Darín as Julio Strassera, the lead prosecutor in the case.

The film is a courtroom drama, but it is also much more than that. It is a film about the pursuit of justice, the legacy of violence, and the power of memory. The film is beautifully shot and directed, and the performances are all excellent. Darín gives a particularly powerful performance as Strassera, a man who is both idealistic and pragmatic.

Critics for its historical accuracy, its powerful performances, and its timely message have praised the film. It has won numerous awards, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the Goya Award for Best Iberoamerican Film, and the Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture, International.

El DiCaprio de CorozopandoMonday
A 2017 Venezuelan comedy film directed by Luis Octavian Rahamut. The film stars Luis Francisco Yanez, Jorge Arellano, Aroldo Betancourt and Dubrasli Loreto.

The film tells the story of Rubén Darío (Yanez), a young peasant who lives in the Putumayo region. Rubén Darío is a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, and his physical resemblance to the actor has earned him the nickname "The DiCaprio of Corozopando".

El DiCaprio de Corozopando is a funny and heartwarming film that explores the themes of identity, stardom, and the American dream. The film is well-made, with an engaging story and solid performances.

Jeremy (El-Jeremías)Jeremy (El-Jeremías) is a 2015 Mexican comedy-drama film directed by Anwar Safa. The film stars Martín Castro as Jeremías, an 8-year-old boy who is diagnosed with a high IQ of 160. Jeremías is a misfit who feels like he does not belong in his family or his community. He is bored at school and does not know what he wants to do with his life.

When Jeremías is offered the opportunity to attend a special school for gifted children, he is faced with a difficult decision. He loves his family and friends, but he also wants to pursue his full potential. In the end, Jeremías chooses to go to the special school, but he does so with a heavy heart.

Jeremy (El-Jeremías) is a heartwarming and insightful film about the challenges of being a gifted child. The film does a good job of balancing humor and drama, and the performances by the young cast are excellent. The film is also notable for its realistic portrayal of poverty and social inequality in Mexico.

Mediterraneo: The Law of the Sea 
The Law of the Sea is a 2021 Spanish drama film directed by Marcel Barrena. The film stars Eduard Fernández as Oscar Camps, a lifeguard who, after seeing a photograph of a drowned child in the Mediterranean Sea, decides to travel to Lesbos to help refugees.
The photo of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian child of Kurdish ethnicity found dead on a beach in Turkey in 2015, is seared into our collective memory. It became a symbol of the migrant crisis and made us all stop and think.

The film, takes this image as its starting point. However, the film is not just about raising awareness of the refugee crisis. It also tells the story of how a group of lifeguards from Badalona, Spain, decided to devote themselves to the full-time rescue of migrants.

The film is set in autumn 2015. The photo of Alan Kurdi shocks Òscar Camps (Eduard Fernández), the owner of a company providing water-based rescue services. He decides to travel to the Greek island of Lesbos, where hundreds of migrants are arriving. Reluctantly, his friend Gerard (Dani Rovira) follows him.

Once on Lesbos, Òscar and Gerard witness the tragic reality of the refugee crisis. They see endless disembarkations from dinghies, long lines of refugees heading towards the Moria refugee camp, and the desperation of women, men, and children. They also come up against the indifference of the island's inhabitants and the inertia of the coastguards.

This experience drives Òscar to set up a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Open Arms, which specializes in rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. The film follows Òscar and his team as they carry out rescue missions, often in dangerous conditions.

The film has been praised for its strong message of hope and solidarity. However, some critics have argued that it is too unbalanced in its focus on Òscar Camps. They argue that the film does not give enough attention to the refugees themselves.

Despite these criticisms, Mediterraneo - The Law of the Sea is a powerful and moving film that raises important questions about the refugee crisis.

Pacarrete  by Allan Deberton
Pacarrete is a 2019 Brazilian drama film directed by Allan Deberton. The film stars Marcélia Cartaxo as Pacarrete, a grumpy retired dance teacher who dreams of getting a big shot and starring at a dance spectacle for the whole town to see.

The film is a heartwarming and funny look at the life of a woman who is often misunderstood and marginalized. Pacarrete is a complex and fascinating character, and Cartaxo's performance is deeply moving. The film is also beautifully shot, capturing the beauty of the Brazilian countryside.

Critics for its humor, heart, and authenticity have praised Pacarrete. The film has won numerous awards, including the Grand Prize at the Brazilian Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival.

Salsipuedes by Ricardo Aguilar Navarro & Manuel “Manolito” Rodriguez
Salsipuedes tells two stories in parallel: the present one, which shows us the protagonist Andrés, an adult who recently arrived from Washington where he spent most of his childhood and adolescence, trying to adapt to what his past life was like, with his friends, family and first love, while coping with the absence of his mentor grandfather and the lack of connection to his criminal father. At the same time, we have the story of the past, which shows us Andrés’ childhood and his life in the neighborhood before being sent to the US by his mother, after his father's imprisonment, convinced that it was the best thing for her son keeping him away from the underworld of the neighborhood.

Because the plot oscillates between an ambiguous internal and external conflict of the protagonist, it is the audience who decides who the antagonist is (the environment that surrounds him or himself?). Andres’ childhood friends, and probably most of the audience too, urge him to go “Sadness is bad, but it does not kill you” but Andres chooses not to and will soon be drawn into ever more dangerous events. "You can take the boy out of the neighborhood, but you can't take the neighborhood of the child” might conclude many of the spectators regarding this Panamanian film that is also a social critic. 

"Chile '76"
In her film, Chilean actor-turned-director Manuela Martelli examines the brutality of the Pinochet regime and the oppressive gender politics of the society he ruled.

The film, titled "Chile '76," is set three years into Pinochet's dictatorship. It follows Carmen (Aline Küppenheim), a housewife who is forced to confront the reality of the dictatorship when she discovers a wounded young man (Nicolás Sepúlveda) hiding in her beach house.

The film is a slow-burning thriller that builds tension through its quiet, atmospheric visuals and Martelli's restrained direction. Küppenheim gives a powerful performance as Carmen, a woman who is slowly transformed from a passive bystander into an active resistance fighter.

Martelli does not shy away from the violence and oppression of the Pinochet regime. The film depicts the systematic torture and murder of dissidents, as well as the everyday fear and intimidation that people lived under.However, the film also shows the resilience of the human spirit and the power of resistance.

"Chile '76" is a timely film that arrives at a moment when Chilean democracy is facing a new threat from the right. The film reminds us of the dangers of authoritarianism and the importance of fighting for human rights.

In addition to the themes of dictatorship and resistance, "Chile '76" also explores the misogyny that is elemental to fascist rule. Carmen is repeatedly subjected to gender-based aggressions, both from the regime and from ordinary people. This violence is a reminder that fascism is not just about political oppression, but also about the control of women's bodies and sexuality.

"Chile '76" is a powerful and important film that is sure to resonate with audiences around the world. It is a reminder of the dangers of authoritarianism and the importance of fighting for human rights, especially at a time when democracy is under threat.

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