Cinehassee 2018 - HIGSA Cinehassee streams a series of films from Hispanic countries, as well as those that address topics related to the Hispanic culture. The main goal of the Festival is to provide multiple viewpoints, inform, discuss, address complex social issues, strengthen ties between our diverse community, and raise awareness on issues concerning the characteristics, importance, and impact of the Hispanic people and their idiosyncrasy.
"Even the Rain"
Right before demonstrations erupted when the Bolivian government privatized the water in 2000, filmmaker Sebastian (Gael García Bernal) arrives in Cochabamba, Bolivia to make a film about the subjugation of the indigenous population.
EVEN THE RAIN (También la lluvia) Icíar Bollaín / Mexico, Spain / 104 min / 2011 / Spanish with English subtitles Filmmaker Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and his cynical producer Costa (Luis Tosar) arrive in Cochabamba, Bolivia to make a film about Columbus’s voyage to the New World and the subjugation of the indigenous population. Just as filming begins, the natives face a crisis when the government privatizes the water company and prices skyrocket. Daily protests erupt and the local man cast as a rebellious sixteenth century Taino chief, also becomes a leader in the water hike protests. This film was the Spanish submission for the 2012 Best Foreign-Language Academy Award.
Centered around Val, a hard- working live-in housekeeper in modern day Sao Paulo, the film dissects with both impeccable precision and humor such matters as class differences and family.
THE SECOND MOTHER (Que horas ela volta?)
Anna Muylaert / Brazil / 112 min / 2015 / Portuguese with English subtitles
Val (stunningly performed by Regina Casé) is perfectly content to take care of every one of her wealthy employers’ needs, from cooking and cleaning to being a surrogate mother to their teenage son, who she has raised since he was a toddler. But when Val’s estranged daughter Jessica suddenly shows up, the unspoken but intrinsic class barriers that exist within the home are thrown into disarray. Jessica is smart, confident, and ambitious, and refuses to accept the upstairs/downstairs dynamic, testing relationships and loyalties and forcing everyone to reconsider what family really means.
"The Death of Pinochet"
Pinochet dies unexpectedly. With original footage and the testimonies of characters who lived through that day, the film relates funnily and provocatively the end of a key chapter in Chile’s history.
THE DEATH OF PINOCHET (La muerte de Pinochet)
Bettina Perut, Iván Osnovikoff / Chile / 67 min / 2011 / Spanish with English subtitles
On December 10, 2006, General Pinochet died in Santiago’s Military Hospital. For 24 hours, his death reawakened the political divisions that marked Chile’s recent history with dictatorship, death and violence. In The Death of Pinochet, Bettina Perut and Ivan Osnovikoff use original footage and the testimonies of four characters who lived through that day, to relate the end of a key chapter in Chile’s history. A work that balances tragedy and comedy, it is a surprising portrait of Chilean society. In observing and giving voice to a group of Chilean people on a very special day in that country’s history, Perut and Osnovikoff show the same provocative spirit that they demonstrated in their previous film Noticias (News). By the time of his death, Pinochet had not held power in Chile for several years. However, this fascinating documentary shows that although Pinochet may now be gone, he has certainly not been forgotten. The Death of Pinochet is yet another example of this filmmaker duo’s ability to handle reality and show it in the rawest way.
Maria, a Mayan teenager, works on a plantation in the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala. Pepe, who plans to migrate to the USA, becomes her way out of her arranged marriage.
IXCANUL, VOLCANO (Ixcanul, volcán)
Jayro Bustamante / France, Guatemala / 62 min / 2015 / In Maya and Spanish with English subtitles
Maria, a 17-year-old Mayan girl, lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation in the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her: her parents have promised her to Ignacio, the plantation overseer. But Maria doesn’t sit back and accept her destiny. Pepe, a young coffee cutter who plans to migrate to the USA becomes her possible way out. Maria seduces Pepe in order to run away with him, but after promises and clandestine meetings, Pepe takes off, leaving her pregnant, alone and in disgrace. There’s no time to lose for Maria’s mother, who thinks abortion is the only solution.
DELICATE BALANCE (Frágil Equilibrio)
Guillermo García López / Chile, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay / 81 min / 2016 / Spanish with English subtitles
Centered around an extensive interview with Jose “Pepe” Mujica, the former President of Uruguay who gained notoriety on the world stage as a rare politician: one that lives according to the ideas and principles he preaches, Delicate Balance is a contemplative essay on the everyday reality of globalization. Mujica’s ideas about modern society, where economic interests prevail over human values, are used to connect three stories: A Japanese salaryman in Tokyo, a sub-Saharan community trying to cross the borders into Europe, a family evicted from their own home in Spain. Three stories intertwined on three different continents. Ultimately, Delicate Balance is a proposal for change, from the particular to the general, that offers a powerful message of optimism for the future. This film is a reflection on the path that the human race is taking, on its habits and its relationship with the world.
OPERATION E (Operación E)
Miguel Courtois Paternina / Spain, France, Colombia / 108 min / 2012 / Spanish with English subtitles
A controversial film in Colombia due to the real event on which it is based (the kidnapping of Clara Rojas and Ingrid Betancourt), Operation E was at risk of being banned, but was finally released in the country after a politicized trial. Crisanto is a poor cocaine farmer who lives with his family in the Guaviare jungle, a region ruled by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). A group of guerrilla fighters give them a moribund baby and tell them to take care of him. The doctors heal the baby, but, believing he’s been abandoned and abused, they take it away. Two years later, the guerrilla asks urgently for the child as he is at the center of an exchange of hostages, negotiated between the presidents of Colombia and Venezuela that is bringing both countries to the brink of war. This international political crisis has significant media impact and is widely reported across the globe. They give him three days to find the boy or he and his family will be killed... This is a political thriller that shows what happens away from the cameras and microphones, a contrasting view of the official version.
Short films from the Ariel Awards: "La Muñeca Tetona" and "Artemio" Artemio (Mexico)
Artemio was born in the US. Now he lives in a small town in Guerrero with his mother and his new family. While his roots are in Mexico, he struggles to feel that he belongs there. Together, this family will show us a reality in which their distance from what they left behind will be felt in every phone call.
La Muñeca Tetona
In the year 1987, in a house located in a wealthy district of Mexico City, a few 20th century-celebrated personages were photographed in a private meeting. Almost three decades later, a photo of that meeting was published on social media. Among the journalists, writers, academics and artists depicted in that picture was an infamous president and a mysterious guest: a busty doll which might have had something -or nothing- to do with the old controversial relationship between power and the intellectuals. This documentary unveils the story behind that meeting as well as the origin of that peculiar doll.