Episode 15: “Bacurau,” “The Sleepwalkers, “Once Upon a Time in Venezuela, “I’m No Longer Here,” “The Mole Agent” and “La Llorona”

In this episode Catherine and Rosa review six Latin American films, five are selected from their respective country for the International category for this year’s Academy Awards. The sixth film depicts an important message through a unique narrative. 

Bacurau – This Brazilian film sadly isn’t its country selection to compete for a spot at the Academy Awards, but it doesn’t make any less of an impactful film. Following a group of residents at the hidden city of Bacurau and their response to a series of unusual events that have been unfolding as of late. — Available on VOD

The Sleepwalkers – Argentina’s selection is a raw and difficult look into a family who are sleepwalkers. At the front of the film is a mother & wife who is on the verge of dedicating her time to becoming a writer. A fracture familial foundation decides otherwise and she’s placed in a position of picking between her in-laws or her daughter. — 

 Once Upon a Time in Venezuela is Venezuela’s selection to compete in the category. A documentary filmed in a period of 7 years shining a light on a community that’s in danger of existence due to sedimentation. Politics, cultural festivities, daily routines, socioeconomic status and more are explored as time runs out for this community. — Available on VOD 

I’m No Longer Here Is Mexico’s selection and it’s endorsed by Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro. If that doesn’t spark an interest, I don’t know what will. Following a young man who’s forced to immigrate to New York after a misunderstanding with a local gang, this film explores community, culture, alienation, familial relationships, identity, culture shock and more. — Available on Netflix 

The Mole Agent is Chile’s representative and it follows an 80 year old man who’s hired to investigate a possible elders abuse situation in a home. A film that starts as an investigative narrative evolves into a harsh reminder to value our elders and to give them the attention and care they need. A sweet, moving, heartwarming and eye opening documentary. — Available on Hulu

La Llorona is Guatemala’s entry and this is a new (and improved) interpretation of the well known myth. Incorporating into a social narrative, Bustamante’s approach is a smart and a heartbreaking look into an Indigenous genocide thats often never talked about. — Available on Shudder  

La Llorona L.A Times Article by Carlos Aguilar referenced in the episode: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2020-08-19/la-llorona-rigoberta-menchu-guatemala