16th LLAFF 2006

Jump to FILMS, DOCUMENTARIES or SHORTS

The Temptations Of Brother Sebastian

Wednesday 15th Nov - 8.00pm Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Jose Araujo; Brazil, 2006, 147 mins, Colour
Cast: Rodolfo Vaz, Marcus Miranda, Luthyane D Montmartre, Aury Porto, Roberto Diogenes, Roberto De Exu.
Awards: Best Feature and Best Production Design, Ceara Film Festival.

The year 2030. Brazil is reduced to toxic ruins in the aftermath of war and ecological disaster. The Church has returned to the age of evangelism and martyrdom. Brother Sebastian prepares for his ordination but wrestles with self doubt: he recounts the story of his early life, the shame of having been assaulted as a child, the carnality of his passion for the beautiful Brother Gabriel, and the torments he suffers at the hands of the devil incarnate, Lord Bat, and his sidekick, Debo. Driven to the very edge, Sebastian finally achieves expiation and is absolved of his sins by Father Sanctus. He then goes on, accompanied by his newly righteous cohort, Lord Bat, to sally forth and rid the world of fear, via beatification by dint of time travels back to Ancient Rome. Confused? Don’t worry! Just sit back as the beautifully realised and utterly bizarre visuals unfold and prepare to lose yourself in a world of sin, mysticism, heavenly visions, blood, and much, much more!

Broken Sky/El Cielo Dividido

Saturday 11th Nov - 8.45pm Curzon Mayfair
Sunday 19th Nov - 6.20pm Renoir
Dir. Julian Hernandez, Mexico, 2006, 140 mins, Colour.
Cast: Miguel Angel Hoppe Canto, Fernando Arroyo, Alejandro Rojo, Klaudia Aragon, Clarisa Rendon.

The passionate relationship between Gerardo and Jonas is disrupted by the arrival of the mysterious Bruno. Jonas’ infatuation with the elusive stranger gives rise to complex repercussions for the couple, like overlapping ripples on the surface of a pond. Writer and director Hernández applies his inimitable touch to a classic love-triangle story which slowly unfurls into a delicately nuanced exploration of the intricate interplay of love, sex and fidelity.

Postscript/Posdata

Friday 17th Nov - 8.45pm Renoir
Dir. Rafael Escolar, Argentina/Spain, 2006, 94 mins, Colour
Cast: Joaquim De Almeida, Emilio Gutierrez Caba, Simon Andreu, German Palacios, Fernando Albizu, Silvia Casanova, Jing Jing Xu.
Awards: Best Script 9th Malaga Film Festival.

Is it fate that a lonely old woman who has lost everything and whose only family is a canary sits down across from a Vietnamese girl who, although barely out of childhood, has been sold to an old Spanish peasant? Is it sheer coincidence that a forty-years-old security guard who has never made a decision in his life and is now about to get married should sit behind a young insurance salesman obsessed by a promotion? Is it chance that two men married to the same woman are coming from her funeral, without nothing to do but remember their lives with her under the same roof? Or perhaps they were all predestined to be in the same carriage, in the middle of a cold, dark tunnel; held there under the protection of Abel, a strange man who seems to know the lives of each and every passenger, their deepest secrets, those they would never reveal.

Virgin Rose/Una Rosa De Francia

Sunday 12th Nov - 6.15pm Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Manuel Gutierrez Aragon, Spain, 2005, 100 mins. Colour
Cast: Jorge Perugorria, Alex Gonzalez, Broselinda Hernandez, Ana Cecilia de Armas.

Simon, a ruthless people trafficker, specialises in ferrying illegal immigrants from Cuba then abandoning them on an island just off-shore from the promised land. This time his luck runs out and he is chased by a US patrol boat; his life is saved by Andres, a young member of his crew, who is, himself, wounded. Simon owes Andres an eternal debt of gratitude… but will this stand him in good stead when he falls for Simon’s girl Marie? Then, when Andres and Marie try to escape to New York , Simon will go to any lengths to stop them.

Regarding Buenos Aires/A Propósito De Buenos Aires

Saturday 18th Nov - 4.30pm Renoir
Dir. Manuel Ferrari, Alejo Franzetti, Martín Kalina, Cecilia Libster, Francisco Pedemonte, Clara Picasso, Matìas Piñeiro, Juan Ronco, Andrea Santamaría, Malena Solarz & Nicolás Zukerfeld; Argentina, 2006, 82 mins, Colour.
Cast: Maria Abadi, Mariana Chaud, Inés Efron, Milagros Gallo, Guillermo García Faure, Water Jakob.

A cast of young characters pursue their disparate yet interwoven narratives, roaming over the surface of the sepulchre that is Buenos Aires ; over the bones of the patriarchs encased in marble, over the bones of the murdered entombed under concrete. The uniting theme is the search for identity, the need of each generation to reinvent itself in a city which has never known itself except as conduit between an alien interior and a distant continent, 10 000 ocean miles away. Searching through words (words in letters, books, vast libraries of words) they seek desperately to define the soul of the city, but ultimately, they find their cultural inheritance has shallow roots which entwine and choke one another, bounded in, as they are, by impenetrable strata of ossified histories. The 11 separate directors involved have achieved a remarkable continuity of style: the deliberate pace of the unfurling tableaux and the bald video texture of the cinematography creep under the skin of the viewer as the lost youths wander the width of land hemmed in between the great river and the endless sea.

American Visa

Friday 10th Nov - 6.30pm Curzon Mayfair
Tuesday 14th Nov - 8.30pm Curzon Mayfair

One of headline thrillers of the Festival this year is Juan Carlos Valdivia’s “American Visa”in which a Bolivian academic finds himself swept up in a world of political, criminal and sexual intrigue. Being denied a US visa proves to be the start of a chain of life-changing events for Professor Mario Alvarez, viz: staging a hold up of the American consulate and falling in love with a beautiful, young prostitute (Blanca, played by Kate del Castillo). High octane drama at the ideological cutting edge.

Rooms For Tourists / Habitaciones Para Turistas

Sunday 19th Nov - 4.30pm Renoir
Dir. Adrian Garcia Bogliano; Argentina, 2004, 90 mins, Black and White.
Cast: Jimena Krouco, Elena Siritto, Mariela Mujica, Brenda Vera, Victoria Witemburg

This stylish and gruesome first feature from Adrián García Bogliano borrows heavily from the classic ‘70′s slasher genre for it sense of isolation and meance as well as from Argento and Fulci for its visual panache. Five young Portenas, all strangers, are stranded for the night in a remote and bleak satellite town near Buenos Aires . A rooming house run by two apparently mild-mannered brothers is the only alternative to sleeping rough… bad decision!

Nippon E Yokoso

Thursday 16th Nov - 7.00pm Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Pablo Aldrete, Mexico, 2006, 76 mins, Colour
Cast: Yoko Honaga, Nacho Sanchez.

This is the journey of two people and their attempt to escape from reality. They meet under different circumstances: Naoko tells the story of her last voyage through life; Daniel is in Japan to see Mexico play in the football world cup. Naoko follows Daniel through the streets of Tokyo and into the tube where she steals Daniel’s wallet. Daniel chases after her, but is unable to spot her in the crowds. Upon checking the wallet she realises that she has made a mistake, pick pocketing the wrong man. Soon Naoko’s boss would be looking for her all over Tokyo . There is a chase in the tube, but she manages to escape, joining Daniel on his trip around Japan while she figures something out. Eventually Mexico loses the match against the USA . Naoko, realising that this might be the end of the journey, decides to take Daniel to a forest where they can find the magic that will take their pain away, and…

Fugue / Fuga

Friday 10th Nov - 8.45pm Curzon Mayfair
Saturday 18th Nov - 6.30pm Renoir
Dir.Pablo Larrain, Chile / Argentina, 2005, 110 mins, Colour Cast: Benjamin Vicuna, Gaston Pauls, Hector Noguera, Alfredo Castro, Maria Izquierdo, Willy Semler, Paulina Urrutia, Marcial Tagle, Mateo Iribarren, Francisca Imboden, Luis Dubo, Hector Morales, Alejandro Trejo.

Luis Dubo, Hector Morales, Alejandro Trejo.

Composer Montalban is unable to finish the sublime piece of music which is entwined inextricably with the murder of his sister, nor can he relinquish it. The dilemma has driven him mad. Many years later, the untalented musician Ricardo Coppa sets out to find Montalban and to complete the fatal opus. Unaware of the dangers ahead, his band sets out on their nightmarish mission. Through an amalgam of brilliant art direction, music and a wonderfully muted and controlled palette of colours, Fuga convincingly creates a fictional world of its own ¯ a unique hell!

Roots Time

Tuesday 14th - Nov - 6.30pm - Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Silvestre Jacobi, Jamaica/Argentina, 2006, 77mins, Colour.
Cast: Woolton Harrison, Llewelyn Samuda, Luis Christie, Brenda Finlayson.
Awards: Best Film 2006 Portobello Film Festival.

Jah Bull and Baboo are two itinerate Rastas selling records from town to town in rural Jamaica . By chance they pick up their favourite radio DJ, Farmer Roots who is racing to get his sick girlfriend to hospital. . The two friends, who do not believe in traditional medicine because of their Rastafarian principles, convince Farmer Roots to take his girlfriend to a renowned herbal doctor, Bongo-Hu. However, finding him turns out to be much more difficult than they expected and gives rise to all kind of adventures along the way. Picaresque poetry.

I Remember / Eu Me Lembro

Sunday 12th Nov - 8.30pm - Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Edgard Navarro; Brazil , 2006, 120 mins, Colour Cast: Lucas Valadares, Fernando Neves, Arly Arnaud, Analu Tavares, Wilson Mello, Rita Assemany.
Awards: Best Film, Best Script, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Role, Best Soundtrack; Brasilia Film Festival.

A tale of the generation growing up through the turbulent 60′s and 70′s, from director Edgard Navarro. Through the eyes of the protagonist, we experience Catholic guilt, the growing pangs of adolescence, alongside the transforming power of the civil rights movement, feminism, sexual liberation and the atmosphere of revolt amongst students and workers.

Chile 672 Street / Chile 672

Saturday 11th Nov - 6.30pm -Curzon Mayfair
Thursday 16th Nov - 8.45pm -Curzon Mayfair
Dir.Pablo Bardouil & Franco Verdoia; Argentina, 2006, 102 mins, Colour.
Cast: Jose Luis Alfonzo, Patrizia Camponovo, Maria Lorenzutti, Erica Rivas, Dora Baret, Lito Cruz.

With neighbours like these, who needs enemies? Nelson teeters between saving his marriage and seducing a young girl… Malena is nearly ready for her close up… Silvia’s placid life is about to be overturned by a young man’s unsolicited attentions… scarlet woman Simona is getting the sharp edge of everyone’s tongue… A storm is about to break over 672 Chile Street!

Jump to FILMS, DOCUMENTARIES or SHORTS

Echoes

Friday 17th Nov - 6.30pm - Renoir
Dir. Estefania Muniz , Spain , 2006, 24 mins, Colour Cast: Merce Llorens, Ara Malikian, Elena Suarez.
AWARDS: Best music; International Festival of Digital Cinema of Sant Sarduni , Spain.

Elena is a dressmaker who works at home with traditional methods. She lives alone with Paula, her only child. Owing to her past, Elena must learn the act of forgiving others’ intolerance and herself. In a world where everything we see is a mirror of what we are, reaching for an absolute truth is, at best, an illusion. Ecos is a metaphor of The Zohar.

Forbidden Wedding

Friday 17th Nov - 6.30pm Renoir
Dir. Flavia Fontes , Brazil , 2001, 56 mins, Colour.
AWARDS: Audience Award For Best Documentary - Projections International Film Festival, Honorable Mention - Philadelphia International Film Festival, Award Of Excellence - Brasa Film Festival.

THE CLOWN, I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME and RIGHTS FOR ALL among others which tell deceptively simple, human stories, but which resonate with wider social and political meanings. When she read about Hedir, Antonio de Brito, a paraplegic who had been refused permission to be married by the Catholic Church in Brazil owing to his impotence, she determined to document his shocking situation. Travelling to his hometown she managed, using digital video and a minimal crew, to reach to the very heart of this highly personal and politically sensitive story, through interview material with the couple, their families and neighbours and with the local priests. The result is a documentary which is as profound as it is moving..

Theatre People/Teatreros

Friday 10th Nov - 4.30pm Curzon Soho

….Theatre is the love of my life.

The Fists Of A Nation/Los Puños De Una Nación

Thursday 16th Nov - 4.30pm Curzon Soho
Dir. Pituka Heilbron, Panama, 2006, 75 mins, Colour and Black & White.

A profound investigation of the need of oppressed peoples to create iconic heroes, the documentary explores the phenomenon of Panamanian Roberto ‘Stone Hands’ Duran, the greatest London Latin American boxer of all time. Through archive material and exclusive interviews with Sugar Ray Leonard, this film examines the parallels between Duran’s meteoric career and the history of conflict between the USA and Panama.

It’s Not Easy/No Es Fácil

Tuesday 14th Nov - 4.30pm Curzon Soho
Dir. Gustavo Gama Rodrigues, Brazil / UK, 2006, 24 mins, Colour.

Two Cuban mothers, from contrasting socio-economic backgrounds, tell of their lives in the tranquil town of Cienfuegos , torn between their love of their homeland and their anguish at the economic flight of all their children to other counties. Unsentimental, moving and beautifully intimate.

Acts Of Men/Atos Dos Homens

Monday 13th Nov - 8.45pm Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Kiko Goifman , Brazil / Germany , 2005, 75 mins Colour.

Institutional violence is the everyday reality for the inhabitants of Brazil ‘s poorest quarters. Goifman’s film was intended to document the stories of people who have survived massacres carried out by death squads comprised of racketeering police officers. However, on the eve of filming, a fresh massacre was carried out in Baixada Fluminense: 29 people killed, including the old, children and teenagers, the highest death toll to date in Rio de Janeiro . In the light of events, the film, inevitably, became the story of this massacre. One crew documented the immediate aftermath, putting their lives at risk from the professional killers still on the streets. Later came the filming of a series of extremely powerful interviews with survivors, giving a rare voice to the unofficial version of events, from those in the firing line. Dignified and not voyeuristic, this film cannot properly be described. It must be seen.

The Cubaraui Women

Wednesday 15th Nov - 4.30pm Curzon Soho
Dir. Antonio Marquez, Spain, 2006, 50 mins, Colour.

A truly captivating documentary revealing an extraordinary cultural interchange that is rarely reported. Every year young Muslim women born in the camps of Sub-Saharan Africa travel to Cuba to study; barely out of adolescence they are suddenly exposed to a radically different world. Often, they stay to complete an entire education up to Master’s Degree level. After more than a decade immersed in an atmosphere of salsa, beach life, and intellectual quest, they return to Africa …. The film looks at the motivations of the women in leaving their homes at such a young age, as well as their reasons for returning. Equally fascinating is the examination of their adaptation back to the Islamic culture of their desert homeland after a vivid education in such an ideologically contrasting setting.

Our America/Nuestra América

Monday 13th Nov - 4.30pm Curzon Soho
Dir. Kristina Konrad, Switzerland , 2005, 84 mins, Colour.

Documentary exploring memories of the Sandinista Revolution of the 1980′s in Nicaragua . The film reflects upon the hopes and aspirations of that brief period, when one small country dared to stand against the might of the USA , to promote social justice and the rights of women, and to proclaim the existence of a different kind of America .

Until the Last Stone/Hasta la Última Piedra

Monday 13th Nov - 6.30pm Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Juan Jose Lozano, Colombia/ Switzerland, 2006, 58 mins. Colour.

Delving deep below all the perfunctory and sensationalist clichés about Colombia , this is a tribute to life and peaceful resistance. It is a portrait of peasant farmers struggling to farm their land in the face of military and paramilitary violence without, themselves, resorting to the gun. Louise Winstanley of Peace Brigades International (PBI) will introduce “Until the Last Stone.” PBI sends unarmed observers to live within rural communities in Colombia , thereby challenging the culture of impunity on the part of the aggressors who threaten the organisers of peaceful resistance with murder. Louise will talk about this work as well as the wider Human Rights situation

Saint Cayetano, The Saint Of The People/Saint Cayetano, El Santo De La Gente

Wednesday 15th Nov - 6.30pm Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Lino Pujia; Argentina , 2006, 68 mins, Colour.

What links a 15 th Century, Venetian intellectual and cleric with the popular politics of 20 th Century Argentina? This documentary explores how Gaetano de Thiene, absorbed, with charitable works, religious orthodoxy and mysticism to become an iconic figure for the working class of Buenos Aires and Argentina, through the decades of Peronism and Junta. The film first examines the life of Gaetano and his socio-political significance in the context of his times. Then, with the use of fascinating archive material, the mass immigration of Italian labour into Argentina. The subsequent struggles for the soul of the nation are also documented. From this, emerges a telling account of the ambiguous position of ‘Saint Cayetano’ as both figurehead for the oppressed masses and, for the ruling classes, as a useful means of distracting the people: a very Argentinean story. The film ends with amazing footage of the simultaneous celebrations of Saint Cayetano in Naples and in Buenos Aires including the pilgrimage of more than a million Argentineans to the Church of San Cayetano.

Loving Maradona/Amando A Maradona

Sunday 12th Nov - 4.30pm Curzon Soho
Dir. Javier Vazquez; Argentina, 2006, 75 mins, Colour.

“Loving Maradona” takes us on a journey spanning Naples , Barcelona and Switzerland , as well as Latin America from Cuba to Patagonia , tracing the life story of Diego Maradona and paying homage to the passion he has inspired in his fans all over the world. Based around an interview with the great man himself, this stylish documentary takes a close look at Diego’s relationship with Cuba . It also goes out its way to record some of the more extreme and eccentric forms of devotion he inspires; the mass popularity of the Maradona tattoo, for example, or the group of 500 fans who now celebrate Christmas on October 30th! Lively, intelligent filmmaking: the perfect antidote to the World Cup.

Fruit Of Labour

Monday 13th Nov - 8.45pm - Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Pepe Urquijo, USA / Mexico, 2005, 54 mins, Colour.

Fruit of Labour shines a light on the old-fashioned innocence of one man’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Following Chago’s seemingly mundane daily routine of selling fruit uncovers a complicated world of people, politics and power. Faced by threats, harassment, confiscation and unemployment, Chago responds with patience, persistence and ingenuity.

Mestre Leopoldina

Friday 10th Nov - 4.30pm Curzon Soho
Dir. Rose Le Creta, Brazil, 2006, 52 mins, Colour.

Famous as one of the oldest and most accomplished practitioners of the capoeira, at 72 years of age, Master Leopoldina stills embodies the grace and philosohical resonance of the art. Originally derived from Bantu and Yoruba traditions shipped over with the slaves to the port of Rio de Janeiro, the capoeira, which combines the physical and mental discipline of a martial art with the exuberance of dance, has long held great significance as a form of subtle defiance preserving, as it does, the proud culture of the oppressed under the very noses of the oppressors.

Jump to FILMS, DOCUMENTARIES or SHORTS

Bread/Pan

Sunday 12th - 4.30pm - Curzon Soho
Dir. Marcelo Bukin, Spain / Peru , 2006, 5 mins, Colour.

Edwin and Edson, 9 and 11 years old, work crushing rocks with their father in a mine. However, remarkably, their intense working conditions have not destroyed their love for life.

Email To Mum/Email A Mamá

Wenesday 15th - 4.30pm - Curzon Soho
Dir. Gerardo Ruiz Minan, Peru, 2004, 2 mins, Colour.
AWARDS: Best Short Film Sao Paulo Film Festival.

A young student emails her mum about her exciting university life…

Welcome To Poptun/Bienvenidos A Poptun

Monday 13th - 4.30pm - Curzon Soho
Dir. Marcelo Bukin, Spain / Peru , 2006, 11 mins, Colour.

This is the story of three children who live in the city of Poptun , a remote and picturesque village in Guatemala . Their childhood is spent offering shoe shine services. The few coins they earn buy what scant food is available. Home is no refuge from their misery as they fall prey to the violence of drunken parents.

Mauris From Titicaca/Mauris Del Titicaca

Tuesday 14th - 4.30pm - Curzon Soho
Dir. Marcelo Bukin, Spain / Peru , 2006, 11 mins, Colour.

By the remote shore of Lake Titicaca , a charming family of 6 brothers and sisters makes ends meet by fishing. Surrounded by danger and disease, these children learn to keep on smiling as they try to survive.

Angel’s Fire/Fuego De Ángel

Monday 13th - 6.30pm - Curzon Mayfair
Dir. Marcelo Bukin, Spain / Peru , 2006, 13 mins, Colour.

Angel, 8 years old, makes bricks all day long. This forced labour and the extreme and inhuman conditions are the key to understanding his life, his friends and his brutal environment. Amidst the hopelessness of this poor community in Puno, Perú, beside Lake Titicaca, the adults sometimes turn to alcohol and physical aggression against their children.

Casting

Wenesday 15th - 4.30pm Curzon Soho
Dir. Gerardo Ruiz Minan, Peru, 2002, 18 mins, Colour
Cast: Pietro Sibille, Carlos Garcia Rossell, Nadia Velasquez.
AWARDS: Best actor Buenos Aires Fim Festival, Best actor Lima Film Festival.

Over the course of a year, this lively short follows aspiring actor Marco Luna Vaggionari from one audition to the next as he struggles to carve out a career for himself and, finally, to take charge of his own destiny.

The 2006 London Latin American Film Festival was hosted once again at two of central London’s most popular cinema venues: The Renoir Cinema, The Curzon Soho and The Curzon Mayfair. The doors opened to all things Latin between 10-20 November including; art exhibitions, directors, Q&A’s and, of course, a wide representation of film making from Cuba, through Costa Rica to Chile.