The latest film from Brazilian director Julia Rezende is a riveting and darkly comic tale of ordinary people pushed to extremes. In Rio de Janiero, times are tough and life is expensive – especially when you’re planning a wedding. Unable to do anything to make sense of their lives, four friends come up with an absurd scheme to turn their lives around: kidnap a millionaire. Will these amateurs abductors actually pull their plan off?
Thursday 17th October 18:45 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
The Gazelle’s Dance
El Baile De La Gacela
Costa Rica 91 mins | 2018 | Dir: Ivan Porras
Former soccer star Eugenio used to be known as ‘The Gazelle’ for his speed and dexterity on the field, but he retired young after being unable to score a trophy. Now 72 years old and living in a retirement home, he decides to take another shot at stardom by entering a dance competition for the elderly. Moving to the rhythms of merengue and bolero, Ivan Porras Meléndez’s feature debut is a nuanced and touching portrait of old age.
Friday 18th October 18:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
The Path of the Shadows
El Camino De Las Sombras
El Salvador | 58 mins | 2018 | Dir: Baltazar Lopez
In the midst of El Salvador’s civil war in the 1980s, University of San Salvador Professor Carlos Mauricio was abducted, persecuted and tortured by his own government. This riveting film depicts the ordeal by combining real-life testimony from Mauricio with archival footage and dramatic re-enactments of the bloody crackdown led by the country’s repressive government regime against anyone suspected of supporting their left-leaning opponents.
Monday 21st October 18:00 @Melbourne University, Glyn Davis (MSD) B120
Paraguay | 97 mins | 2018 | Dir: Marcelo Martinessi
Chela and Chiquita are two middle-aged women whose lives are thrown into disarray when mounting debt results in Chiquita being imprisoned for fraud – forcing them apart for the first time in over 30 years. Finding her privileged existence rapidly deteriorating, Chela is forced to make a new life for herself as a chauffeur. This award-winning drama takes a compelling look into the lives of the wealthy, through the tribulations of a woman in crisis.
Saturday 19th October 16:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
Bad Lucky Goat
El Día De La Cabra
Colombia | 76 mins | 2017 | Dir: Samir Oliveros
After accidentally killing a bearded goat with their father’s truck, two siblings set out to have it repaired in time to pick up the tourists that will be staying at their family’s hotel – embarking on a 24-hour adventure around Port Paradise involving a butcher, Rastafarian drum-makers, a pawn shop and even a witch doctor. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign, director Samir Oliveros’ first film is packed with the unique sights and sounds of Colombian Caribbean.
Saturday 19th October 14:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
Grace & Splendour
Donaire Y Esplendor
Panama | 96 mins | 2017 | Dir: Arturo Montenegro
This joyously irreverent romantic-comedy tells the Romeo and Juliet-like story of a young couple who fall hopelessly in love after an unexpected encounter at the airport. But they soon discover that their respective families have been embroiled in a bitter rivalry for years – ever since their mothers competed against each other at Panama’s famed Carnaval celebrations decades ago. And now the collective madness of Carnaval is coming around again...
Tuesday 22nd October 18:00 @Melbourne University, Glyn Davis (MSD) B121
Chile | 101 mins | 2017 | Dir: Arnaldo Valsecchi
In 1950, the imminent death of matriarch Matilde forces her entire family – including her four adult daughters – to reunite at their hacienda in rural Chile. On her deathbed, Matilde confesses to the village priest that she killed her husband 40 years ago and buried him in the garage. The revelation shocks everyone in attendance and kicks off a chain of events that unearths even more long-buried secrets (and bodies) in this dark comedy
Sunday 27th October 14:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
El Sueño Del Mara’akame
Mexico | 90 mins | 2016 | Dir: Federico Cecchetti
Nieri is a young Huichol Indian caught between his traditional culture and his youthful ambitions. He dreams of running away with his rock band to make it big in Mexico City, but his father – a Huichol shaman, or Mara’akame – wishes to train him in the art of spiritual healing. A striking tale of the role of ancient tradition in modern life, this film paints an evocative portrait of Mexico and offers a rare glimpse into the magical world of the Huichol.
Sunday 20th October 14:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
Ecuador | 80 mins | 2016 | Dir: Sandino Burbano
Fantasy and reality collide in this unique take on the legend of Don Quixote that explores ethnic and social marginalisation in Latin America through the lens of comedy. In modern-day Ecuador, Don Quixote sets out to help his loyal companion Sancho Panza find a wife. Their misadventures lead them to inadvertently kidnapping the Queen and Princess of Spain, resulting in an unlikely meeting between citizens of two very different worlds.
Thursday 24th October 18:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 556
Peru | 93 mins | 2014 | Dir: Fernando Villarán
Balo, Ricardo, Domingo and Kike have been friends since the day they were born – eight decades ago in Peru’s El Callao neighbourhood. They have been waiting for as long as they can remember for their favourite soccer team to play in the league finals, but fate delivers a cruel blow when Kike dies on the eve of the match. Reuniting at his funeral, the remaining three friends decide to steal Kike’s ashes and take them to the match for one final hurrah.
Saturday 26th October 14:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
Los Dioses Rotos
Cuba | 93 mins | 2008 | Dir: Ernesto Daranas
Laura is a university professor researching the legendary Cuban pimp, Yarini y Alberto Ponce de Leon, whose murder at the hands of French rivals in Havana in the early 1900s made him a folk hero. Delving into the city’s underworld, Laura finds striking parallels between the Havana of today and the past. As her investigation deepens, she finds herself caught in the middle of a turf war between modern-day Havana pimps.
Friday 25th October 18:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
The Pope’s Toilet
El Baño Del Papa
Uruguay | 98 mins | 2007 | Dir: César Charlone
It’s 1988 and the Uruguayan border town of Melo is excitedly awaiting the visit of Pope John Paul II on his tour of South America. Word begins to spread that thousands could be making the pilgrimage to see the holy leader, and the poverty-stricken citizens of Melo prepare for an unprecedented tourism boom. But petty smuggler Beto believes he has hatched the best plan of them all: to build a public toilet and then charge the pilgrims to use it.
Saturday 26th October 14:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
Where All Roads End
Donde Acaban Los Caminos
Guatemala | 85 mins | 2004 | Dir: Carlos Garcia Agraz
In the early 20th century, idealistic doctor Zamora arrives in a rural Guatemalan village with the hope of eradicating illness among the local Tz’utujil people. Zamora unexpectedly finds himself falling in love with a young native girl named Maria – but can their relationship transcend vast cultural differences and the threatening shadow of conflict with Guatemala’s government?
Sunday 20th October 18:00 @Melbourne University, Arts West 353
Man Facing Southeast
Hombre Mirando al Sudeste
Argentina | 105 mins | 1986 | Dir: Eliseo Subiela
Dr Julio Denis is baffled by the unexplained arrival of a mysterious new patient at the Argentinian psychiatric hospital where he works. The newcomer tells Julio that he is an extra-terrestrial, sent to Earth to observe the behaviour of humans firsthand. Urged by hospital administrators to treat him like any other patient, Julio soon begins to wonder against his better judgement whether his new patient could indeed be from another planet.