Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Esperando al Mesías (Waiting for the Messiah)

Quite a nice film by Daniel Burman both as a showcase of the consequences of an economic crisis with positive survival against all odds like Santamaría does, as well as the story of a young shy man, Ariel, that feels trapped in a bubble and he wants out.

The story co written by Burman allows viewers to follow Ariel’s traditional Jewish family and for once, if you’re not familiar with Jewish traditions, you will learn a little more in a quite entertaining way. There are a few secondary characters that cross paths with Ariel and Santamaría and have to admit that even if the film shows slices of their life, the slices chosen tell a lot about the characters and that this narrative style is difficult to do it well; but Burman does it remarkable well, as you get well developed characters.

One of the secondary characters is Laura (Chiara Caselli) that becomes involved with Ariel while having a relationship with Any (Dolores Fonzi). The thing is that Any wants commitment from Laura; but Laura is a complex young woman that is searching not only for her own identity but also for resolving life issues with her father. So she commits to nothing, except to her work filming people from the street for a TV program. Definitively not your regular lesbian interest story, but I found it quite realistic and after all, the entire movie is so positive even when is set in times of a harsh Argentinean reality, that the two girls story becomes unusual –in the screen- and interesting.

The movie is arty and has a slow pace, but there are things happening in the screen so is not the kind of movie where not much is happening (which I like) and this makes it more enjoyable for wider audiences. Tech specs are well above average and there are some scenes that are great for framing and composition; performances by the large ensemble cast are satisfactory and perhaps the one that shines more is Enrique Piñeyro that plays Santamaría.

This 2000 film collected many honors from fests and awards allover the world including wining the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2008 Valladolid fest, a nomination for a Golden Alexander at the 2000 Thessaloniki fest, a nomination for the Grand Prix at the 2000 Bratislava fest and other well-deserved wins and nominations.

I enjoyed the film a lot more than I imagined and is one film that I recommend to those that enjoy arty Latin American cinema. But I also recommend it to many of my known readers as a non-traditional lesbian interest film.


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