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What to Watch Online This Week on Cinema Tropical

Cinema Tropical is proud to present the virtual theatrical release of the Brazilian documentary My Darling Supermarketcontinuing on virtual cinemas nationwide this week. A charming portrait of life and love in an urban Brazilian grocery store, My Darling Supermarket is now available to rent from home through your favorite local theater!

Grocery store employees, today’s essential workers, get star treatment in this documentary which was shot prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, “My Darling Supermarket isn’t a tragic snapshot of working class life but a humbly philosophical one,” making it a must-see in a moment when we can all use a little inspiration.

Join us on Friday, March 5 at 6pm EST for a special conversation with director Tali Yankelevich, moderated by Cinema Tropical’s assistant director Pilar Dirickson Garrett. The Q&A will stream via the Cinema Tropical Facebook page.

Online Films and Events:

Virtual Theatrical Release:

(Meu Querido Supermercado, Tali Yankelevich, Brazil/Denmark, 2019, 80 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

Grocery store employees, today’s essential workers, get star treatment in My Darling Supermarket (made prior to the pandemic). Set within a bright, colorful supermercado in São Paulo, Brazil, this charming, funny documentary glides through a seemingly endless array of vibrantly designed shelves and displays, but it’s the store’s employees who take center stage. Rodrigo (in bread) discusses quantum physics and parallel universes; Santo (a forklift operator) builds video game cities; a security officer tracks possible shoplifters on closed circuit TVs (“Two suspects near the condensed milk!”); Ivan (a baker) likes to dress as Goku, a Manga character; and then there’s the artist who lovingly paints the prices. A panoply of individuals with fears, hopes, and questions about their place in the universe are celebrated in a quirky portrait that juxtaposes their idiosyncrasies with the assumed mundanity of bringing food to our table.

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Latin American Films at the Athena Film Festival

(Meu Nome É Bagda, Caru Alves de Souza, Brazil, 2020, 96 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)
Streaming March 1 – 14

(Loria Limbal, USA, 2020, 72 min. In English and Spanish with English and Spanish subtitles)
Streaming March 8 – 21


(Stephanie Sandoval, Chile, 2018, 16 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Streaming March 1 – 31

(Agustina Comedi, Argentina, 2019, 14 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Streaming March 1 – 31

(Basta, Cecilia Albertini and Lesley Elizondo, USA, 2020, 12 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Streaming March 1 – 31

(Monica Wise Robles, USA/Mexico, 2020, 21 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Streaming March 1 – 31

(Agustina Biasutto, USA, 2019, 10min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Streaming March 1 – 31

(Margarita la del río, Pilar Garcia-Fernandezsesma, USA, 2018, 4min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Streaming March 1 – 31

(Exiliada, Leonor Zúniga, Costa Rica, 2019, 24 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Streaming March 1 – 31

Virtual Theatrical Release:

(Sin señas particulares, Fernanda Valadez, Mexico/Spain, 2020, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Middle-aged Magdalena (Mercedes Hernandez) has lost contact with her son after he took off with a friend from their town of Guanajuato to cross the border into the U.S., hopeful to find work. Desperate to find out what happened to him—and to know whether or not he’s even alive—she embarks on an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous journey to discover the truth. At the same time, a young man named Miguel (David Illescas) has returned to Mexico after being deported from the U.S., and eventually his path converges with Magdalena’s. From this simple but urgent premise, director Fernanda Valadez has crafted a lyrical, suspenseful slow burn, equally constructed of moments of beauty and horror, and which leads to a startling, shattering conclusion. Winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Audience and Screenplay Awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Años luz, Manuel Abramovich, Argentina/Brazil/Spain, 2018, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Neither passive nor overly styled, Manuel Abramovich’s latest documentary observes Martel during the making of her fourth feature, Zama. In the spirit of his previous nonfiction features (Soldier and Solar), the Argentine cinematographer-turned-director demonstrates his clever ability to convey the playful, mysterious, frustrated, and delirious stages of filmmaking alongside his complex artistic collaboration with his subject. Far more than a behind-the-scenes film, Light Years is as much an intimate portrait of an artist at work as it is an attempt to evoke the oblique, transcendental tendencies that pervade Martel’s films.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Hugo Rodríguez, Mexico, 2003, 93 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Lolo, a hacker with no sex appeal who spies on his neighbor Andrea with webcams and manipulates her life, joins and the criminals Tomson and El Nene, in a search for the 20 diamonds that the suspicious Russian Sbóvoda must give to El Nene in exchange for a CD made by Lolo with the secret passwords of a Swiss bank. The unexpected arrival of Andrea’s love interest who comes from Spain to take her away, along with the inability of Lolo to live outside his virtual world, further complicate matters. Lolo mistakes the CD for another and the nighttime meeting with the Russian ends in a shoot-out from which El Nene and Sbóvoda —who flees with the diamonds— escape with injuries. While Lolo gets away and tries to deal with the disaster and regain control over Andrea’s life, the criminals and Sbóvoda take refuge in a pharmacy and a barber shop in the neighborhood. In less than two hours, fate and the diamonds change the lives of everyone.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Gabriela Calvache, Ecuador/Mexico, 2019, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Sex worker Dana (Noëlle Schönwald), drawn into prostitution after becoming addicted to pharmaceutical drugs, is exploited by her boss and caught in a cycle of paying off debts to him and caring for her ill daughter. She has only the smallest hint of happiness with one client. This tough and non-judgemental film from writer-director Gabriela Calvache is striking and shrewd. A tense and violent climax pulls various strands together, as Dana plans her escape from her abusive gang boss.

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Tropichat: Tali Yankelevich on MY DARLING SUPERMARKET

Join us for a special conversation with Tali Yankelevich, director of the Brazilian documentary My Darling Supermarket, moderated by Cinema Tropical’s assistant director, Pilar Dirickson Garrett.  The São Paulo-based documentary filmmaker and editor based in São Paulo. She holds an honorary Bachelor’s degree in Film & Television and a Masters in Documentary Directing from Edinburgh College of Art. Her first commissioned short, The Perfect Fit, about a ballet dancer and a shoemaker, was produced by BBC Scotland, won the SXGlobal Short Film Award at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival, and was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination. Other works as a director includes the short called A Girl’s Day (2014) for the international documentary series “Why Poverty?”, sponsored by The Why Foundation. Her work has screened at numerous renowned international film festivals including Visions du Reél, Sheffield and Tribeca. My Darling Supermarket is a Brazilian/Danish co-production supported by the Bertha Fund marks her debut feature film.

Friday, March 5, 6pm EST

Virtual Conversation with Producer Pablo Cruz

On March 5, at 5PM EST join Film Tucson for a new online webinar series, Tucson Talks: Virtual Conversations with Film & TV Professionals.The first talk will be with celebrated Mexican Producer Pablo Cruz about his illustrious career as a film and television producer with over 30 credits, including the critically acclaimed Miss Bala (Mexico’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards); Diego Luna’s César Chávez; David Pablos’ The Chosen Ones (which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and won five Mexican Academy Awards, including Best Pictures); Gael Garcia’s directorial debut, Déficit; Cary Fukunaga’s Sin Nombre; and Werner Herzog’s Salt & Fire. Pablo has successfully produced TV series both in Mexico and the US, including two seasons of the hit AMC TV show Fear the Walking Dead. He created and produced the Netflix original documentary series Taco Chronicles. In 2017 he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in recognition of his career. Pablo will be in conversation with the founder of Tucson Cine Mexico / Producer Vicky Westover. The talk will include a simultaneous Spanish translation and a Q&A with viewers at the end.

Friday, March 5, 5pm EST

Virtual Theatrical Release: LEONA

(Isaac Cherem, Mexico, 2018, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Leona is an intimate, insightful, and moving film that tells the story of a young Jewish woman from Mexico City who finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love. Ripe with all the drama and interpersonal conflicts of a Jane Austen novel, watching her negotiate the labyrinth of familial pressure, religious precedent, and her own burgeoning sentiment is both painful and beautiful – there are no easy choices to be made and the viewer travels back and forth with her as she struggles with her heart to take the best path.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Temporada de caza, Natalia Garagiola, Argentina/ USA/ France/ Germany/Qatar, 2017, 105 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Winner of the Venice Critics’ Week Prize, the debut feature by Natalia Garagiola is a father-son drama starring Lautaro Bettoni, German Palacios, and Rita Pauls, that centers on Nahuel, who is finishing high-school in Buenos Aires and has recently lost his mother. No one from his closest environment can take charge of him so he is put under his father’s custody for three months until he turns 18. Nahuel has an innate violent impulse that he has been gradually learning to control. His father Ernesto is a tough and silent hunter in San Martin de los Andes, a small village near the mountains in southern Argentina, where he has settled with his new family. They barely remember each other after 10 years of distance. As the journey begins, the wilderness becomes Nahuel’s new environment. There is no “Mother Nature” to welcome him with open arms. Instead, he crashes into a cruel and hostile scenery where the survival of the fittest rules.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Zentralflughafen THF, Karim Aïnouz, Germany/France/Brazil, 2018, 100 min. In English, Arabic, German, Russian)

This impeccably photographed documentary chronicles a year in the lives of asylum seekers in Berlin’s historic Tempelhof, a former airport expanded by the Nazi government as a symbol of Hitler’s Germania. The irony of the situation is not lost on Aïnouz or his subjects. Ibrahim, an 18-year-old from Syria, is studying German and waiting for his status to change from the uncertain ‘protected’ category to the more secure ‘refugee.’ Qutaiba, a 35-year-old physiotherapist from Iraq who was forced to flee before completing medical school, is volunteering at the clinic as a translator. The airport has become a city within a city, with box homes, spaces for the provision of healthcare, a barbershop, table tennis, and even a modest Christmas market. The men and women who work in the shelter try to accord some dignity to the thousands of people in limbo there. Central Airport THF is a moving portrait of displaced people in transition, and its focus on the positive implies that Germany might be one of the few European countries generous enough to welcome them to a new home.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Invasión, Abner Benaim, Panama/Argentina, 2014, 93 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Using reenactments and interviews, filmmaker Abner Benaim documents the collective memory—as well as the selective amnesia—of his fellow Panamanians around the 1989 U.S. invasion to overthrow General Manuel Noriega. The lives of the people of the Central American nation were deeply shaken by the American military incursion. Invasion—Panama’s first film to be submitted for the Best Foreign Language Oscar—is a witty and engaging documentary that talks about the perils of sovereignty, democracy, and endangered virtues of today’s ultra-capitalist world. Winner of the Cinema Tropical for Best Documentary, the film not only explores the mechanisms in which memory is turned into history, but holds a mirror to the present to show how the recent past shapes Panama today.

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