What to Watch Online This Week, April 27 – May 4
The Cinema Tropical Collection is proud to announce its second slate of selections, featuring the North American digital release of three Brazilian films that had their U.S. premieres last December as part of the series ‘Veredas: A Generation of Brazilian Filmmakers,’ curated by Mary Jane Marcasiano and Fábio Andrade, presented by Film at Lincoln Center and Cinema Tropical.
These three films are boundary-pushing works of Brazilian cinema, directed by four young directors that are part of a vast and influential generation of filmmakers that is indelibly leaving its mark on the local and international film circuit. Challenging boundaries of genre, form, class, race, and identity, Cinema Tropical is proud to make these three Brazilian films available to North American audiences for the first time.
And this week don’t miss the virtual theatrical release of Our Mothers by Guatemalan director César Díaz. Winner of the Cámera d’Or Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the film exposes the genocide that tore Guatemala apart in the early 80’s and the repercussions for those who survived to tell the stories.
Films Premiering Online This Week:
The Cinema Tropical Collection:
IN THE HEART OF THE WORLD
(No coração do mundo, Gabriel Martins and Maurilio Martins, Brazil, 2019, 121 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)
A sprawling feature by Gabriel and Maurílio Martins, In the Heart of the World offers a vivid depiction of a close-knit community in the city of Contagem, where the filmmakers are from. In this multi-character ensemble, the inhabitants of a poor neighborhood yearn for a better life: some get involved in crime, others just try and get by. Using a mix of professional and amateur actors, the directors create a kaleidoscopic, inventively photographed portrait of struggle, hope, and faith.
Virtual Theatrical Release: OUR MOTHERS
(Nuestras madres, César Díaz, Belgium/Argentina, 2019, 78 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Guatemala, 2018. The whole country is immersed in the trail of the soldiers who sparked the civil war. Victim statements come one after another. Ernesto (Armando Espitia) is a young anthropologist working for the Forensic Foundation; his job is to identify the missing. One day, while hearing the account of an old woman, he thinks he has found a lead that might guide him to his father, a guerrillero who went missing during the war. Against his mother’s wishes, he flings himself body and soul into the case, looking for truth and resilience.
(Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas, Dominican Republic/ Mexico/Germany, 2010, 84 min. In Spanish and Haitian Creole with English subtitles)
Jean Gentil narrates the struggles—both material and philosophical—of an educated, deeply religious Haitian immigrant as he travels throughout the Dominican Republic, in search of work as well as a deeper meaning. Centering on the remarkable figure of Jean Remy Genty, playing a role closely modeled on his own life, the film traces his path from the city of Santo Domingo into the countryside, as this former French teacher is forced to find any possible means of subsistence.
THE NIGHT GUARD
(El vigilante, Diego Ros, Mexico, 2016, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Salvador works the night shift as a security guard in a construction site located on the outskirts of Mexico City. During one particular evening, while the rest of the country basks in annual festivities, Salvador tries desperately to sneak out of the site, insistent on attending an important engagement elsewhere. A series of bizarre and improbable situations, however, turn his night into a strange and unfortunate experience.
The Cinema Tropical Collection:
IS THE CITY ONLY ONE?
(A cidade é uma só?, Adirley Queirós, Brazil, 2011, 79 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. New York Premiere)
The fascinating debut feature from Adirley Queirós (director of White Out, Black In and Once There Was Brasília) is a fiction/documentary hybrid focusing on a satellite city of Brasilia called Ceilândia. Is the City Only One? reflects on the spatial and social exclusions that have defined the relationship between the federal district, its surroundings, and the people who built the city from nothing.
Films Available to Stream Now:
(Resurrección, Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2016, 94 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
The final film by the late Mexican director Eugenio Polgovsky—one of the finest documentary filmmakers of his generation—is a poignant portrait of a family’s fight for survival and the regeneration of their local river. Once known as the Mexican Niagara, the waterfall of El Salto de Juanacatlán was a source of immense joy and continuous sustenance for the villages surrounding it. This natural paradise disappeared when an industrial complex was established across the Santiago River close to Guadalajara.
HOTEL NUEVA ISLA
(Irene Gutiérrez, Spain/Cuba, 2014, 71 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
In bygone days, the Nueva Isla hotel in Cuba was a place of grandeur, overflowing with life and guests. Now, it is a dilapidated ruin, with parts of the ceiling falling down and damp eroding the walls. Nevertheless, the building is still inhabited – by the aged Jorge and his faithful dog, as well as a few of his friends who find themselves homeless. Jorge’s best years were spent working as an official in a strictly governed but vital Cuba. Now, he spends his days poking around and digging – if you look carefully, there is memorabilia buried beneath the rubble.