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Arts Roundup Dec 9th, 2016

-Hi there, welcome to Arts Roundup I’m GJ.
-Hello there! I’m JG
-Together we’ll be bringing you an overview of cultural events centred on or emanating from our cultivated island of Cuba.
-We’ll be right back!

-GJ: The 38th edition of the Havana Film Festival is under way until the 18th of December and will present a total of 18 full length films that compete for the 2016 Coral Award. With the participation of seven countries among which Argentina, Mexico and Chile can be said to stand out in terms of the quality of their work. They all come together in Havana with films that have given rise to a lot of opinions since their first release in theatres internationally.
-JG: Such is the case of El Ciudadano - The Citizen - a dramatic comedy from Argentina premiered three months ago. El Ciudadano is a candidate for Spains Goya Awards and to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or AMPAS Oscar Awards in the category of Best Foreign Film. One of the film’s directors Mariano Cohn has said the film invites the spectator to witness Argentina standing in front of a mirror. It deals with the immigration of youth and young talents to developed countries and their utter rejection of provincial life.
-Two of the other Argentinian films are “La Helada Negra” and “Hermia & Helena”. Both of them with good reviews in in the Berlin and Mar del Plata festivals. “La Helada Negra” is a fantastic drama using as a hook popular beliefs and superstitions to inquire in topics such as the life in the countryside and sexual awakening. “Hermia & Helena”is a drama that gains strength thanks to changing the leading character in the middle of the movie.

-GJ: Colombia is participating in the festival with two premiers: “Mañana a esta hora” and “La Mujer del Animal”. The latter rendered as the darkest work of filmmaker Víctor Gaviria after an absence of 12 years from the circuit. Labeled as a gender film, the story line is based on a woman that was harassed by a criminal for seven years. Also labeled as a movie dealing with female issues “Mañana a esta hora” is the second full length film by Lina Rodríguez -one of the three female filmmakers participating in this section. “Mañana a esta hora” focuses on the intimacy of a family, and the parents’ roles during their children’s teenage years. The film premiered in the section Filmmakers of Now in Locarno, Switzerland.

-JG: Mexico is screeniing “Desierto” - Desert -  chosen to represent Mexico in the category of Best Non English Spoken Film in the 89th edition of the Oscar Awards. This thriller starring Gael García Bernal as Mosiés tells the story of an illegal immigrant to the US a conflict that becomes more important now that Donald Trump has been elected as the US next president.

-“La Región Salvaje” - Wild Region – won the Best Director’s Award in Venice International Film Festival. This film, directed by Amat Escalante, works around various genres such as horror, drama, fiction. It also condemns various acts of violence and sexism that Mexican society suffers not only towards women but also against homosexuals.

-Tiempo sin pulso, or time with no pulse was directed by Bárbara Ochoa Castañeda deals with the theme of grief within a family over the death of one of two teenage boys in an automobile accident.

-GJ: Chile is the country with the most full length films, with  total of four. “Neruda” shows the Chilean Nobel Prize winner in a very unconventional manner while depicting the country’s situation. “El Cristo Ciego” - The Blind Christ - is a mixture of fiction and anthropology and the story involves the residents of two national small towns telling their own stories. “Aquí No Ha Pasado Nada” - Nothing Has Happened Here - is based on a true story. It showcases the underside of the upper class and how the abuse of power can exempt or decrease the gravity of a murder crime especially if the perpetrators are young and wealthy. And with murder as the theme these is also “Jesús” by the renown director Fernando Guzzoni. This time a crime serves as the vehicle to analyse the country from the perspective of two very different generations.

-JG: From Cuba three full length films will be playing: “Sharing Stella” by Enrique Álvarez; “Últimos Días en La Habana” - Last Days in Havana - by the Fernando Pérez. This drama with Patricio Wood and Jorge Martínez in the leading roles was a big challenge for the director because it all takes place in just on room. And finally “Todo es Antes” - Everything is Before” - by Lester Hamlet is a film that also takes places in an apartment. The script is inspired in the play Weekend in Bahía from Alberto Pedro. The director told to the media that the big screen version presents a time of reflection about adulthood and loneliness without love or personal contact.”

-GJ: Three films come from the South American Giant that is Brasil. “Aquarious” has become an anti-impeachment manifesto and not because of politics but because of the tireless protest of its director, Kebler Mendoç and the movie’s cast during the political trial against former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. The film, the only representation of Latin America in the Cannes Film Festival, deals with the fight of a woman against an eviction order.

-The other two productions are “No Me Llame Hijo” - Don’t Call Me Son - by Anna Muylaert and “La Ciudad del Futuro” - The City of the Future - by Cláudio Marques and Marília Hughes. The latter is a story about two young residents of a destroyed, alienated city, impoverished by so much economic development, trying to live a healthy and diverse life.

-Closing the list is Trinity and Tobago with “Play the Devil” - El juego del Diablo. This film tries portrays the violence caused by religious conservatism, patriarchy, poverty in a dysfunctional family.

-JG: And there’ll be more on the movies in future editions of the Arts Roundup. Thanks for listening. I’m JG
-GJ: Yes thanks for your company and stay tumed, I’m GJ

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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