Saturday, May 10, 2008

El Baño del Papa (The Pope’s Toilet)

This is a charming story about smuggling between the Uruguay and Brazil border and the 1988 real life Pope’s visit to Melo, where the very poor inhabitants were hoping for thousands of visitors and to make some money they decided to invest everything they had into providing food, drinks and souvenirs. One man decides that if the many visitors are going to eat and drink they’ll need to refresh themselves and with many sacrifices decides to build a toilet.

This César Charlone and Enrique Fernández film (they also wrote the screenplay) is not great but is quite entertaining and most interesting is to learn that Fernández was 10 years old, living in Melo and the story he narrates is inspired in his real life neighbor and all the Melo inhabitants.

As a movie I find it average, there is nothing outstandingly good or bad; the actors and non-actors performances are acceptable and with the magnificent outdoor views I just wish they had worked better the cinematography.

The movie was screened at the 2007 Un Certain Regard and has 10 wins and many accolades in fests allover the world. I’m thinking about the natural target for this movie and the only thing I could think of is that will please those that like Latin American cinema with bittersweet stories. To me this movie was a little bit depressing, even when there are some laughs and has a hopeful ending.

Enjoy a little…

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