Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

London's Latin Quarter Still photo

London’s latin quarter

Dir. Silvia Rothlisberger, UK, 2015, 14 min, colour, English subtitles.

The largely untold story of Elephant and Castle’s Latin American community (the largest in London), the influence of Latin Americans through their food, music, and culture, and the threat posed to the Latin American community, amongst many others, by the massive and on-going, luxury developments in the area.



Dir. Jorg Wagner, Brazil / UK, 2015, 25 min. colour, English subtitles.

A breezy, fun-filled comedy set in North London, revolving around the lives and loves of a wild, rainbow assortment of Brazilians in a Seven Sisters flat-share.


A gift to my mother

Dir. Elam Forrester, UK, 2015, 2 min, colour, English subtitles.

A  portrait of Panaderia La Esperanza, at the heart of the deprived community of El Refugio. The bakery was set up in 2006, with the express aim of providing local people with training and a regular income.

Facing Up Film

Facing up

Dir. Elam Forrester, UK, 2015, 8 min. colour, English subtitles.

A simple, and utterly compelling documentary, one woman’s account of her childhood, and her former life as a guerrilla in El Salvador.

Struggling for Recognition The Waste Pickers of Colombia

Struggling for recognition: the waste pickers of Colombia

Dir. Yanni Zikidis, Colombia, 2014, 10 min. colour, English subtitles.

Colombia remains one of the most inequitable countries in South America. Yet the health and well-being of society depends upon an all but invisible community of workers. This is their struggle to be seen.

Last day of the house - _ltimos días de una casa

Last days of a house / Ultimos dias de una casa

Dir. Lourdes de los Santos Matos, Cuba, 2015, 14 min. colour, English subtitles.

A call to arms to help save, for Havana, and for Cuba, the old house of Dulce Maria Loynaz, the poet  whose lyrical and commanding style forged a powerful, distinctly female vision of nationhood.


Job / Trabajo

Dir. Nelson Pena, Dominican Republic, 2015, 14 min. colour, English subtitles.

Determined to help his mother in her struggle to support her family as a lone parent, a young deaf boy goes out to seek work. Deeply affecting.



Dirs. Adrienn Vass & Silvia Rothlisberger, UK / Colombia / Cuba/ Hungary, 2013, 13 min, colour, English subtitles.

The story of feisty Cuban powerhouse Eva Tarr-Kirkhope, from her arrival in 1970s London with a mission to spread Latin American culture through cinema, to her status today as the unassailable doyenne of the London Latin American Film Festival. A documentary that mixes animation, actuality, a little bit of Cuba and a little bit of London, to unfurl a compelling story of determination and the love of art.



Dir. Carlos Barba Salva, Cuba / Mexico / Spain / USA, 2014, 111 min. colour, English subtitles.

A stunning retrospective of one of Cuba’s most outstanding visual artists, and the story of the abiding mystery surrounding his disappearance five years ago. Humberto Solas was a filmmaker, a visionary, and, first and foremost, a Cuban icon. Best known as the director of “Lucia”, (regarded a one of the ten best Latin American films of all time), he actually amassed an extensive body of work, and, through his pioneering experimentation in the use of colour, became a major influence on the cinema of the island. Five years after his actual disappearance, co-workers, family and friends, gather to remember aspects of his life and career and discuss the lasting legacy of his feature films

Gabo - The Magic of Reality

Gabo, the magic of reality / Gabo, la magia de lo real

Dir. Justin Webster, Spain / UK, 2015, 90 min, colour & B/W, English subtitles.

How did a boy from a backward town on the Caribbean coast become a writer who won the hearts of millions, from the poorest to the most powerful, with a life’s work that helped change our perception of reality? Drawing on a wealth of archive material, this documentary traces the inspirational story of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (‘ Gabo ‘ as he is affectionately known throughout Latin America), lauded as perhaps the best writer in Spanish since Cervantes, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature, and author of the critically acclaimed masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. Growing up in the poverty and violence of northern Colombia, he was motivated by a love of life, as well as an earthy and mysterious sensibility. He pioneered a new, life-affirming genre of literature, and through his militant journalism, and friendships with leaders like Fidel Castro and Bill Clinton, was at the forefront of the political struggles of the Seventies and Eighties.


Me dicen Cuba

Dir. Pablo Massip, Cuba, 2014, 52 min. colour, English subtitles.

“Of all the arts, the only one that doesn’t exist is music. Music doesn’t exist. It only exists in the minds and imaginations of men and women. Music begins where words end”. Master musician and composer Sergio Vitier begins the narration of “Me Dicen Cuba” with these striking words, setting the tone for a documentary that explores the universal themes of music (peace, love, friendship, family, community, nation) from the unique perspective of musicians in Cuba today. With the participation of more than seventy of the country’s most prominent music-makers (amongst them, Sergio Vitier himself, Digna Guerra, Vicente Feliu, Alexander Varona, Lazaro García, Kiki Corona, Amaury Perez, Raul Paz, Luna Manzanares, Vania Borges, Baby Lores, Tanmy Lopez, Yadira Estruch, the Buena Fe Duet, Paulo FG, Hector Gutierrez, Silvio Rodriguez), the film presents a portrait of, perhaps, the central form in Cuba’s cultural expression, at a moment of historical change. The end result is scintillating, and thought provoking, in equal measure.

Never Ever Neverland

Never ever neverland

Dir. Marina Ochoa, Cuba, 2014, 90 min, colour & B/W, English subtitles.

Director Marina Ochoa dedicated this heart-rending documentary to her younger brother, Frank, who was one of the more than fourteen thousand Cuban children who were sent, alone, to the USA between 1960 and 1962. She never saw him again. “Operation Peter Pan” has been the subject of previous films, but here, apart from exploring the lasting effects on its victims, Ochoa throws new light on the secrets of the operation, for example, the role of Spain as a conduit for the expatriation, and the fact that some of the children ended up being settled in Jamaica, instead of the States. Crucially, she demonstrates that “Operation Peter Pan” was not merely a one-off event, of purely historical significance, as she reveals how near such a tragedy came to being repeated in Venezuela, as a reaction to the advent of the Chavez government. Essential  viewing, for everyone.

4 Ramas 4 Armas

4 elements 4 weapons / 4 ramas 4 armas

Dir. Katharin Ross, Chile, 2015, 72 min. colour, English subtitles.

This film give us a glimpse of a wide range of activities hip hop youth engage in as a means of empowerment, and reveals a critical voice of dissent and an inspiring display of positive action toward effecting change within these young people’s lives and communities.


Blood of my blood / Sangre de mi sangre

Dir. Jeremie Reichenbach, France, 2014, 78 min. colour. English subtitles.

BLOOD OF MY BLOOD describes the life of a family of workers in a self-managed slaughterhouse in Argentina. A mix of scenes of daily life and landmark events, a story of love, sharing and transmission….



Awards: Best Director, Best Cinematography, Special Jury Prize Ituzaingo International Film Festival
Dir. Rafael Escolar, Argentina, 2014, 87 min, colour, English subtitles.
Cast: Maximiliano Gallo, Magdalena Combes, Eva Bianco, Nora Hoffman, Roberto Videla, Jorge Monteagudo, Horacio Fierro, Laura Coronel, Hugo Ochoa

For many years Pascual has had to cope as sole carer to his mother. Now, on her death, he finds himself alone, and hospitalised, surrounded by ‘mad’ people, and desperate to escape. He contacts his long-estranged brother, pleading for rescue, but to no avail. The therapy he is offered seems ineffective, but, with time, he starts to reconnect with his own feelings, and with those around him. However, a crisis point is reached when he discovers that the family home has been sold, and all that is left to him in the world is his bicycle, and his distant brother. There seems to be only one course of action left. Although it deals with the rawest of emotions, and the extremes of human experience, this is an uplifting tale of the capacity of people to endure suffering, with the promise of redemption at the end of the road.



Dir. Fernando Molnar, Argentina, 2015, 78 min, colour, English subtitles.
Cast: Diego Peretti, Andrea Garrote, Pablo Seijo, Roberto Catarineu

After losing his job, Diego (Diego Peretti) is reduced to working for his uncle, selling apartments in a new development, while he and his family are forced to move from central Buenos Aires to the grim, outer suburb of El Tigre. Impelled by the outrage of his wife and teenage daughter at the change in their circumstances, he finds himself on a treadmill of endless commuting and long hours. As time passes, he gradually succumbs to an obsession with selling, just as his wife and daughter are growing away from him, transformed by their new environment. A darkly absurd tragi-comedy about the incongruities of the late-capitalist world, and its impact on the very foundations of identity and personal relationships. Recommended.