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What to Watch Online this Week on Cinema Tropical

Cinema Tropical‘s 20th Anniversary festivities kick off this Wednesday, March 31 with the opening of the 6th edition of Neighboring Scenes: New Latin American Cinema, our annual showcase of contemporary Latin American film proudly presented in partnership with Film at Lincoln Center, with the support of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University (CLACS – NYU). 

Featuring nine recently-premiered films from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru, Neighboring Scenes will also present a special restoration of the landmark Argentine film Silvia Prieto by Martín Rejtman — the first film Cinema Tropical screened, in February 2001 at the Pioneer Theater in downtown Manhattan, that thus launched twenty years of programming.

Tickets for Neighboring Scenes are available now! Save 20% on all Neighboring Scenes virtual rentals: create your account and explore the full lineup here. Once you have selected your films or the all-access pass, hover over the thumbnail, click “Rent,” and enter promo code CINEMATROP21.

Please join us on Opening Night for a special conversation with Brazilian directors Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra, the duo behind the impressive All the Dead Ones, on Wednesday, March 31 at 6pm ET. Kindly register here.

Films Premiering This Week:

“6th Annual Neighboring Scenes: New Latin American Cinema” 

Opening Night:

(Todos os Mortos, Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra, Brazil/France, 2020, 120 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

Cinema Tropical 20th Anniversary screening:

(Martín Rejtman, Argentina, 1999, 92 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Las mil y una, Clarisa Navas,
Argentina/Germany, 2020, 120 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Sebastián Lojo, Guatemala/ Argentina, 2020, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Ana Elena Tejera, Panama, 2020, 80 min. In Portuguese and Dulegaya with English subtitles)

(Samichay: En busca de la felicidad, Mauricio Franco Tosso,
Peru/Spain, 2020, 87 min. In Quechua and Spanish with English subtitles)

(Entre perro y lobo, Irene Gutiérrez,
Cuba/Spain/Colombia, 2020, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Diego Mondaca, Bolivia/Argentina, 2020, 77 min. In Aymara, Quechua, and Spanish with English subtitles)

(Visión nocturna, Carolina Moscoso, Chile, 2020, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Se escuchan aullidos, Julio Hernández Cordón, Mexico, 2020, 68 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

All films streaming from Wednesday, March 31 through Monday, April 12

NewFest Presents:

(Cosas que no hacemos, Bruno Santamaría, Mexico/USA, 2020, 71 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Three hours from Tepic, the capital of the state of Nayarit, is El Roblito, a small town of a few hundred inhabitants surrounded by mangroves. Cinematographer-turned-director Bruno Santamaría captures rural Mexico through its residents, idyllic landscapes, and community traditions, telling the story of 16-year old Ñoño. Through the photographer’s lens, Things We Dare Not Do confronts gender norms by addressing machismo and violence in the struggle for queer identity. The film was the winner of the Jury Prize for International Documentary, Chicago International Film Festival.

Available to stream Thursday, April 1 – Sunday, April 4

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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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:

(El club, Pablo Larraín, Chile, 2015, 98 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Pablo Larraín (director of No and Post Mortem) continues to explore the long shadows of Chile’s recent past with this quietly scathing film about the Catholic Church’s concealment of clerical misconduct. Four aging former priests peacefully live out their days together in a dumpy seaside town, focused on training their racing greyhound rather than doing penance for their assorted crimes. Their idyll is shattered when a fifth priest arrives and, confronted by one of his victims, commits suicide. A young priest begins an investigation into the retirees’ pasts, setting off a series of events that call into question faith, piety, and complicity. Winner of the Silver Bear at the 2015 Berlinale and Chile’s Oscar submission.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Los guantes mágicos, Martín Retjman, Argentina, 2003, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Rejtman’s comic masterpiece follows the crisscrossed fortunes of, among others, a cab driver, a rock musician, a flight attendant, and a dog walker with an alarming penchant for over-the-counter medication. The Magic Gloves came out in the wake of Argentina’s devastating financial crisis, and it’s a movie fixated on rotten investments, thin wages, and bad deals. It’s also, despite all that, one of Rejtman’s funniest films, peppered with colorful secondary characters, suffused with a terse, prickly sympathy for its heroes, and alive to the mystery and charm of the modern urban world.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Carlos Lechuga, Cuba, 2012, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

In the Cuban village of Melaza, named after the once flourishing sugarcane fields, time stands still. Even when all kinds of things happen, nothing ever changes. The State pretends to take care of everything, but it shuts the rum factory and makes swimming lessons impossible. There’s no use complaining, think the inhabitants, that’s just how it is. Melaza is the heartwarming love story of Aldo and Monica, a photogenic couple who live in a much too small cottage with their fat daughter and grumpy grandma. They try very hard to earn some extra money. Their attempts finally get the couple into deeper and deeper trouble. But together, the lovers manage to pull through it. New talent Carlos Lechuga tells his critical story with humor and sparse dialogue, taking us on a journey to the beauties of rural Cuba. Far from the hotels and from Havana, but with a reality familiar to everyone who has ever been to Cuba – or faced a shortage of cash.

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Cinema Tropical at 20:

Picture of the Week:
Lucrecia Martel

Director Lucrecia Martel attends the inaugural edition of the Cinema Tropical Awards at the TimesCenter in New York City, November 2010. Her three films La Ciénaga (2001), The Holy Girl (2004), and The Headless Woman (2008) were fêted that evening.

Special Event:

Neighboring Scenes Free Talk: Directors Marco Dutra and Caetano Gotardo

Join us for Opening Night of the 6th edition of Neighboring Scenes: New Latin American Cinema, featuring a special conversation with Brazilian directors Marco Dutra (Good Manners) and Caetano Gotardo (The Moving Creatures). The filmmakers have combined creative forces for the impressive All the Dead Ones, a poignant, female-driven period drama that offers insight into structural racism in Brazil and resonates with the history of this country.

Wednesday, March 31, 6pm EST

Films Available to Stream Now:

ADIFF Women’s History Month Film Series:

(Marisol Gómez-Mouakad, USA/Puerto Rico, 2016, 100 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles)
Angelica, after a long absence from Puerto Rico, returns when her father, Wilfredo, suffers a stroke. This forced return and her father’s illness, forces Angelica to re-evaluate her relationship with her mother, and with her family members who don’t accept her because of her skin color. All this will force her to face herself and discover that she does not know who she is. Furthermore she does not like herself. After her father’s death, Angelica must decide whether to return to the comfort of her previous life, dissatisfied, but secure, or set on an adventurous path to rediscover herself as an independent, modern, strong, mulatto, and Puerto Rican woman in a globalized world that is in the cusp of the twenty-first century.

Streaming through Monday, March 29 

(Kathleen Collins, USA, 1980, 54 min. In English)
Kathleen Collins’ first film, The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy is an adaptation of a series of short stories by Henry H. Roth about three young Puerto Rican men whose lives are watched over by their father’s ghost. New York’s rural Rockland County is an unlikely setting for the both the urban-born trio and the magic they encounter when they meet Miss Malloy, an elderly widow with a house that needs some loving care. The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy is a fresh and exciting discovery—not only is it one of the first films directed by an African-American woman, it is also one of the of the best celebrations of Puerto Rican culture in the Northeast US.

Streaming through Monday, March 29

Virtual Theatrical Release:

(A Febre, Maya Da-Rin, Brazil/ France/Germany, 2019, 98 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

Manaus is an industrial city surrounded by the Amazon rainforest. Justino, a 45 years old Desana native, works as a security guard at the cargo port. Since the death of his wife, his main company is his youngest daughter with whom he lives in a modest house on the outskirts of town. Nurse at a health clinic, Vanessa is accepted to study medicine in Brasilia and will need to be leaving soon. As the days go by, Justino is overcome by a strong fever. During the night, a mysterious creature follows his footsteps. During the day, he fights to stay awake at work. But soon the tedious routine of the harbor is broken by the arrival of a new guard. Meanwhile, his brother’s visit makes Justino remember the life in the forest, from where he left twenty years ago. Between the oppression of the city and the distance of his native village, Justino can no longer endure an existence without place.

Watch Now

Virtual Theatrical Release:

(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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U.S. Latinx and Latin American Films at the Athena Film Festival presented by Barnard College: 


(Stephanie Sandoval, Chile, 2018, 16 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Agustina Comedi, Argentina, 2019, 14 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Cecilia Albertini and Lesley Elizondo, USA, 2020, 12 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Monica Wise Robles, USA/Mexico, 2020, 21 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Agustina Biasutto, USA, 2019, 10min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Pilar Garcia-Fernandezsesma, USA, 2018, 4min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Exiliada, Leonor Zúniga, Costa Rica, 2019, 24 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Streaming through March 31

Daily Recommendation:

(Joanna Reposi Garibaldi, Chile, 2019, Chile/Colombia, 96 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

A pioneering queer writer and visual artist who shook up conservative Chilean society during Pinochet’s dictatorship in the 1980s, Pedro Lemebel worked on a film about his own work during the last eight years of his life. Unfortunately, he was never able to complete the film before his death from cancer in 2015. With unprecedented access and footage from that unfinished project, Joanna Reposi Garibaldi’s documentary details the risk-taking, confrontational performance art that defined this extraordinary figure, whose work advocated for human rights, and which speaks to the recent political upheaval in Chile.

Watch Now

Daily Recommendation:

(Aurora Guerrero, USA, 2012, 86 min. In English)

An earnest coming of age story about the friendship between two 15-year-old Latinas growing up in the predominantly Mexican neighborhood of Huntington Park, Los Angeles, Mosquita y Mari explores the growing bond between college-bound Yolanda (Finessa Pineda), and Mari (Venecia Troncoso), a street-savvy, undocumented teen who moves in across the street. Despite their contrasting realities, the girls are brought together after an incident thrusts them into a delicate dance of adolescent self-discovery and sexual awakening. Capturing intersecting issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, and migration, Mosquita y Mari has been recognized internationally for its exploration of urban queer Latina identities. A semi-autobiographical movie written and directed by Aurora Guerrero, Mosquita y Mari premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

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