Cine Las Americas 2018 Review: COCOTE

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Though not my highest rated film of the festival, Cocote is probably the most exciting and artistically bold film of this year’s Cine Las Americas.  Director Nelson Carlo De Santos Arias takes a basic story of vengeance and presents it in some truly exciting and creative ways.  It truly is a visually phenomenal piece and certainly an unforgettable experience.  I am sure some audiences found the directors choices to be either bizarre or even excessive, but I can honestly say that his film left me floored with amazement. Read more »

Cine Las Americas 2018 Review: ABRAZOS IMBORRABLES (UNFORGETTABLE HUGS)

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

The second documentary I viewed at the festival is a fun and exciting film about the very intimate dance known as the tango and its current world-wide resurgence.  Argentinian director Pablo Hadis offers an entertaining and insightful film that features some of the artists and enthusiasts responsible for the dance’s return.  The documentary also includes interviews with people from all over the world whose passions revolve around this sexy and unforgettable form of dancing. Read more »

Cine Las Americas 2018 Review: MARISA EN LOS BOSQUES (MARISA IN THE WOODS)

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

From Spain this amusing and somewhat deep comedy features a fantastic performance by it lead actress.  Patricia Jordá stars as Marisa, a vivacious young woman whose life and happiness has been on hold for too long.  Lost and aimless, Marisa dedicates her life and most of her time to helping her friends and loved ones with their problems.  When she can no longer help one of her best friends and the rest of her friends have moved onward, Marisa is still stuck with her own personal struggles and cannot avoid them any longer. Read more »

Cine Las Americas 2018 Review: LA HORA DE LA MERIENDA (TEA TIME)

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

From Spain, this pleasing and lovable film won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Short of the festival.  Though the film does call for a little suspension of disbelief, I still enjoyed and appreciated the message it offers, and a timely one it is.  The story revolves around Chela a lonely senior citizen who has very little to do in her life.  Though most of her days are uneventful, she does occasionally suffer from stress whenever her troubled daughter visits to ask for money.  To cope with the stress and loneliness, she often finds herself drinking to pass the time. One day she decides to invite her neighbor Elena for tea.  The two bond instantly and become good friends.  Tea time becomes a somewhat regular affair for both Chela and Elena, but there is something about Elena that Chela has yet to discover. Read more »

Cine Las Americas 2018 Review: MY BOLIVIA, REMEMBERING WHAT I NEVER KNEW

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

In this outstanding documentary film, director Rick Tejada-Flores decides to pursue a comprehensive study of his family’s roots and ancestry in Bolivia.  Though raised in America, Tejada-Flores had a father born and raised mostly in Bolivia and an American mother whom his father met and courted while in college in the U.S.  As the filmmaker goes deep into his family’s history, he discovers more about his grandfather who was a wealthy landowner, and Bolivian politician.  This much he knew already from the stories his family already told him.  However, what he didn’t know was that his grandfather was a slave owner. Read more »