Latin American cinema as an act of faith | Culture

Seven actors from five countries in Latin America. They are different lives and trajectories that are shared in a common language, which is not Castilian but cinema. The Phoenix Awards they have reunited to interpreters nominated to the awards of the Ibero-American film and television that are delivered Wednesday night in Mexico City. "We are people who use privileges for the common good," affirmed the actress Ursula Pruneda, in a heated conversation that discussed government support, acting styles and the legacy of the actors who help shape the stories of the region.

"I do not identify with the actors: they act and I feel raw," provoked nothing more than the Argentinean Sofía Gala (Buenos Aires, 1987), who won the prize for best actress last year at the San Sebastian Festival. Alanis. In the film he plays a prostitute who is left adrift after being evicted from the apartment where he works on a portrait of the legal limbo in which the sex servants of Argentina live. "Everything is true for me, reality surpassed us, everything that happened to Alanis happened to me ... It is difficult to act marginality and then go to the motor home", added Gala, who acted together with her baby in an experience that qualifies as "strong, rare and beautiful".

Not everyone shares that passionate approach. "It's irrelevant for a movie if the story is real or not, people do not care if it was cold or it rained during filming," he added. Gael Garcia Bernal (Guadalajara, 1978), who is nominated in the best actor category for Museum, which recreates the blow of two teenagers at the National Museum of Anthropology Christmas 1985. "An actor is always manipulating, there is a point of view, there is a choice of what comes out and, above all, of what does not come out in the movie".

Antonella Costa (Rome, 1980) sincerely shared her experience in the preparation of the protagonist of Dry Martina, a comedy by the Chilean Che Sandoval. The director told her that she had written the character for her, but when she had the script in her hands she found a nymphomaniac singer in whom she had difficulty recognizing herself. "It was very difficult because I did not know very well what I was doing, and without much idea I gave myself to the trip that was the shooting, which was very funny". However, the more than 1,000 members of Cinema 23 have backed his performance with a nomination in the category.

Rodrigo Santoro (Petrópolis, 1975) also entered into this exploration into the unknown. The Brazilian chose to participate in the first feature film by the brothers Sebastián and Rodrigo Barriuso because of the enormous challenge of embodying a Cuban professor of Russian literature who becomes a translator of the patients of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that was treated in Cuba in 1986 "It was an absurd challenge, to speak Russian and Spanish as Cuban, I had to prove I could do it."

The future of cinema in the region

Proving is uncertain for the industry in a large number of Latin American countries. The austerity measures, combined with the advance of the right-wing governments, put the development of the cinema in the region in check. This was one of the concerns shared in the talk. Many of the actors recognized that art depends on government aid, on which the threat of cuts always hangs.

"Everyone is scared because we do not really know what is happening, killing culture is one of the most violent forms of imposition," said Karine Teles, nominated by Benzinho. The Brazilian actress described the stupor that many in the cultural sector live after the triumph of the extreme right Jair Bolsonaro, who has found in the filmmakers some fierce opponents.

Something similar happens with the Argentines Gala and Costa, who warn of how the crisis could weigh on the results achieved by the national cinema, which in 2017 achieved its year with more premieres.

"Before, we were not better," said Gael García Bernal. "Before there were no mechanisms to make the movies we do today." The Mexican actor also dared to make a diagnosis. "In Latin America, filmmakers do not have an obsession with money, we make films as an act of faith, as a commitment to generate a universe and an experience where we hope to transcend, and there lies a utopia."


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