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What to Watch Online This Week at Cinema Tropical

Cinema Tropical at 20:

TropiChat 20:
Natalia Almada

Recipient of the 2012 MacArthur “Genius” Award, Natalia Almada combines artistic expression with social inquiry to make films that are both personal reflections and critical social commentaries. Her work straddles the boundaries of documentary, fiction, and experimental film. Her most recent film Users had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Directing Award U..S. Documentary. Her previous film Todo lo demás / Everything Else is a narrative feature starring Academy Award-nominated Adriana Barraza; it premiered at the New York Film Festival and was nominated for a Mexican Academy Award. El Velador premiered at the 2011 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and broadcast on the award-winning PBS program POV, along with her other two feature documentaries Al Otro Lado and El General. Almada’s short film All Water Has a Perfect Memory premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and received the Best Documentary Short award at the Tribeca Film Festival. Almada was the recipient of the 2009 Best Documentary Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, USA Artists, The Herb Alpert Foundation, and MacDowell Colony. Almada graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives between Mexico City and San Francisco.

Wednesday, May 12 at 7pm EDT
on Facebook Live

Streaming Premiere of the Films by Eugenio Polgovsky on OVID:

(Resurrección, Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2016, 93 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2016, 7 min.)

(Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2014, 3 min.)

(Mitote, Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2012, 54 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Los herederos, Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2008, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

(Trópico de Cáncer, Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 2004, 52 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Premiere Thursday, May 13
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.
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Daily Recommendation:

(El rey de once, Daniel Burman, Argentina, 2016, 82 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

After many years away, Ariel (Alan Sabbagh) is summoned by his distant father to his childhood home in the bustling Jewish quarter of Buenos Aires, known as El Once. Over the course of seven days, during the vibrant holiday of Purim, Ariel seeks to reconnect with his father, who runs a Jewish charity and is regarded as a big macher in the close-knit community, but was frequently absent due to his obligation to fulfill the Jewish quorum of having 10 men present at all funerals. It’s from this theological conundrum that the film derives not just its English title but also its momentum as Ariel grapples with his religious upbringing and the ways it informed his relationship with his father.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Feriado, Diego Araujo, Ecuador/ Argentina, 2013, 82 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Sixteen-year-old Juan Pablo travels to the remote family hacienda in the Andes, where his uncle, who is involved in a corruption scandal, has taken refuge with his wife and teenage children. It is the carnival holiday of 1999, days before the collapse of Ecuador’s banking system. There, Juan Pablo meets Juano, an enigmatic, self-assured heavy-metal fan from the nearby pueblo, who opens his eyes to an entirely new, liberating world. As his country and family is heading for the abyss, the two boys’ budding friendship develops into a fragile romance, and Juan Pablo is forced to define himself against his chaotic surroundings. Daniele Luppi, who has collaborated with Norah Jones, Jack White, Ennio Morricone, and Gnarls Barkley, composed the score.

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POV Broadcast Premiere:

(Loira Limbal, USA, 2020. In English)

To make ends meet, people in the U.S. are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of non-stop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Through the Night, a documentary by Puerto-Rican born, Bronx-based Afro-Dominican DJ, filmmaker, and film executive Loira Limbal, explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider – whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center.

Premieres Monday, May 10

Virtual Theatrical Release:

(Wagner Moura, 2019, Brazil, 155min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

A searing and energized portrait of one of Brazil’s most divisive historical figures, Afro-Brazilian poet and politician, the legendary Carlos Marighella – played by famous Actor/Musician Seu Jorge (City of God). Driven to fight against the erosion of civil and human rights following the CIA-backed military coup of 1964 and the brutal, racist right-wing dictatorship that followed, the revolutionary leaves behind his wife and son to take up arms, becoming a notorious enemy to the power structure. Relentlessly pursued as the government’s number one enemy, Marighella cleverly evades capture, all the while continuing to inflict damage and further enraging his sadistic pursuers.

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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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Daily Recommendation:

(Juan Antín, France/Luxembourg/ Canada, 2019, 79 min. Dubbed in English)

That the Latin American animation industry is becoming a force is a fact. But, more important, Latin American animation has understood—as a movement, as a revolution, as a reality—that there’s no need to go face-to-face against mainstream, globally released animation from the big studios. This used to be the industry’s temple of doom: trying to imitate his Goliath with fewer tools, less money, and a smaller marketing budget. Pachamama (like Uruguay’s Anina and Chile’s Historia De Un Oso) understands that identity is the ace under the poncho: the more personality you give your hand-crafted, years-in-the-making movie, the more distinctive it becomes. In Pachamama, the Andes are the perfect setting in which this children’s adventure evokes the journey-of-the-hero archetype. And every inch of Juan Antin’s movie feels personal, ready to conjure a sense of magic that comes only from that region, its culture, its sounds, and its colors—rearranged into a powerful visual tale.

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Daily Recommendation:

(Marcel Rasquín, Venezuela, 2010, 97 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)

Raised as brothers, intense teammates and competitors on the soccer field – the gregarious, swaggering Julio (Eliu Armas) and the wiry, focused Daniel/“Gato” (Fernando Moreno) have remained virtually inseparable ever since the newborn Daniel was found abandoned in a trash heap in their La Ceniza slum. The opportunity of their lives arrives when a football scout invites them to try out for the city’s top professional team, just as a tragic act of violence threatens to tear them apart and prevent them from achieving their dreams.

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