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Samara Film Festival Shows the World Through the Eyes of Youth

By Sarah Cook and Arianna McKinney

For one week, Ciclo de Cine brings the movie theater to Samara, featuring presentations of independent movies from around the world. The event is free and open to the public at Intercultura from Monday, June 19th, to Thursday, June 22nd at 7 p.m.

This year, the selected movies focus on children and loneliness, according to Diego Lasso, who has organized the event for six years now. He explained that the objective is to show the lives of the children within the world of adults.   

The movie showings are as follows:


Monday, June 18
Viva Cuba (Cuba 2005)

This comedic movie based in Havana, Cuba is about a young girl and boy who pledge to be friends for life even though their families hate each other. When Malu’s mother decides to move to another country, she and Jorgito decide to travel across Cuba so that Malu can meet her estranged father. According to Lasso, the movie exemplifies the freedom of childhood in contrast to the constant problems of adults.    

Tuesday, June 19
El Encanto del Erizo (France 2010)

Lasso calls this film extraordinary.  He said the French are always exploring the problem of loneliness and relating to others.  The child at the center of the film is Paloma Josee, an intelligent yet suicidal 11-year-old girl whose father is a diplomat, giving a taste of high society life. Other key characters are the solitary Parisian building superintendent, Renee Michel, who has a passion for reading and for chocolate, and the enigmatic Kakuro Ozu, a Japanese man who falls in love with Renee.   

Wednesday, June 20
Un Cuento Chino (Argentina 2011)

This dramatic comedy doesn’t have a child as the central character, but it does explore the theme of loneliness through the interactions of the two main characters. A Chinese guy named Jun is alone in Buenos Aires after being assaulted and left with no money. Worse, he doesn’t speak a word of Spanish. Roberto decides to take him in, although he is used to living alone and doesn’t speak a word of Chinese. A strange relationship develops between the two despite the language barrier. 

Lasso said the story is based on a real event. And the clincher to the comedy is that Roberto is fascinated by and collects strange news items, while Jun has lived a very strange loss. A cow fell on his girlfriend and killed her. 

Thursday, June 21
Tsotsi ( South Africa 2005)

The exciting movie week ends with a drama that has won many prizes. According to Lasso, the film demonstrates the horrible social problems and discrimination in South Africa even after apartheid ended.  Set in one of the most miserable neighborhoods of Johannesburg, it features a hardened 19-year-old youth who has become a leader of a group on the fringes of society. The boy has erased his own identity, taking on the name Tsotsi, which means “thug” or “gangster.”  Orphaned since he was little and making his way through life alone, Tsotsi has lived in extreme depravation, both physically and psychologically.  


This lively cultural fair will also include the sale of used books and CDs of Central American music at Intercultura Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with economical prices. So make sure to stop by for a reasonably priced book and a great movie afterwards!


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