A Bloody Argentine Film


HAVANA TIMES, Dec. 7.- Blood oozes from the head and then begins to suffocate. Asphyxia is what moves the characters of La Sangre Brota by Argentine director Pablo Fendrik. However the motion isn’t to try to escape, but only to move within the asphyxia.

The young flee from daily life by crossing borders through amphetamines; the old through gambling, new age philosophy, sex in public places. Nobody seems to have any goals, except Arturo, a 60-year-old taxi driver who tries to save enough money to bring his son back from the United States.

Maybe Irene has an objective too: to win back her junky boyfriend who’s after Vanesa, a young teenager.

Cubans like Argentine films. No matter how exhausting the story may be or how little is understood of the language of a marginal Buenos Aires neighborhood, it’s rare that they leave the theater early. Maybe also because of the memory of past films such as The Official Story or Man Looking Southeast.

It didn’t happen this time either, perhaps because of the curiosity that good stories can arise, when everyone wants to find out the ending, even if they don’t particularly like the film, or when it is depressing or makes you think of the bitter similarities between those Argentine characters trapped in blood and asphyxiated, and many of us, real Cuban characters, with a similar dose of pent up violence, or a matching absence of dreams or hopes, and with the same needs and fears ­­—the same demons punish us from within.

Maybe this explains why the audience stayed until the end, despite vocal protests. Or perhaps they didn’t move because they weren’t familiar with that reality and wanted to learn about it. In any case, the cinema remained packed, while the blood never stopped oozing.

The Havana Film Festival continues through December 12 with two more days for the winning films on the 13th and 14th.