Mexico, 2008, 80 minutes
Fri, Apr 24 / 9:15 / Kabuki / LAKE24K
Sat, Apr 25 / 5:45 / Kabuki / LAKE25K
Tue, Apr 28 / 6:30 / PFA / LAKE28P
It’s morning in a small seaside town on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, and teenager Juan (Diego Cataño) has just driven the family’s tomato-red Toyota into a light pole on an empty street. As he sets off on foot to seek help, the immobilized car becomes a vehicle for delivering Juan into the hands of a cast of local characters and their small but significant routines. No one, including Juan, seems to be in much of a hurry. His interactions with a paranoid old mechanic (Hector Herrera) devoted to his almost-human pet dog, a young mother (Daniela Valentine) with dreams of punk rock stardom and a teenage mechanic obsessed with kung fu (Juan Carlos Lara) glow with a droll observational humor reminiscent of director Fernando Eimbcke’s much-lauded first feature, Duck Season (SFIFF 2005). As Juan is drawn into their lives and we learn more about a loss at the center of his family, the film’s emotional undercurrent deepens considerably. Cinematographer Alexis Zabé’s minimal camera setups and eloquently held shots create a rich field for exploring the characters’ interior states, and the film’s insistence on the here-and-now ground its meditation on escape, hope and connection. The cast’s natural interplay is utterly convincing, the film’s quiet humor earned and its sweet, compassionate humanity is deeply moving.
Presented with support from the General Consulate of Mexico, San Francisco.