You can experience fresh and vibrant new voices from Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Brazil at the New Latin American Cinema Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts March 8-27. Read the brief descriptions of the films below and start making plans to attend the festival. For more information, including tickets, visit mfa.org/programs/series/new-latin-american-cinema.
All About Feathers
All About Feathers (Por las plumas) by Neto Villalobos (Costa Rica, 2013, 85 min.). All About Feathers is a charming story of friendship, loyalty, and finding your place in the world. Chalo, a security guard, wants to get into the cockfighting game, so he buys, trains, and befriends a rooster named Rocky-but not everyone in Chalo’s life welcomes his new feathered friend. Villalobos employs expertly framed long shots to capture the character’s environment, and draws our attention to their behavioral and physical quirks.
The Summer of Flying Fish
The Summer of Flying Fish (El verano de los peces voladores) by Marcela Said (Chile, 2013, 88 min.). A fog permeates through a dense forest, creating an unsettling atmosphere in this coming-of-age drama. Teenaged Manena and her affluent family vacation at their lake house, and continue to deny they are on indigenous land claimed by the Mapuche. Said’s images make the rising tension between Manena’s family and the Mapuche palpable as the tribe becomes more outspoken against her family’s ignorant beliefs.
Workers by José Luis Valle (Mexico, 2013, 120 min.). After a wealthy old woman dies, she leaves her vast fortune to her beloved dog, while her loyal housekeepers and gardeners receive nothing. Rafael, an illiterate man working in a light bulb factory, is unable to receive his pension because of his immigration status. These are a few of the characters in Valle’s brilliant portrait of Tijuana, Mexico. Valle captures the vast discrepancies in social status with long takes that makes us feel the weight of their reality.
Heli by Amat Escalante (Mexico, 2013, 105 min.). Escalante brings a reality of his country into sharp focus in this unflinching portrait of police corruption and drug violence. As romance blooms between a young girl and a police trainee, drugs are suddenly found at her home, and the entire family pays with a heavy physical and psychological price.
Wolf at the Door
Wolf at the Door by Fernando Coimbra (Brazil, 2013, 101 min.). Described by Coimbra as a modern-day variation on Medea, the film follows a mother and father as they search for their abducted daughter. Blaming each other for her disappearance, the couple reveals their history through flashbacks, and they are forced to reveal deep secrets about their past. And soon, like the characters themselves, we start to wonder if they are being entirely truthful. “An utterly compelling and indelible drama” (The Hollywood Reporter).
Tickets for all films may be purchased at www.mfa.org/film, by calling the MFA Ticketing Line at 800.440.6975, or in person at any MFA ticket desk. Screenings are in Remis Auditorium (RA) in the Linde Family Wing or Alfond Auditorium (AA) in the Art of the Americas Wing.