This is an auto-ethnographic documentary created through the audiovisual correspondence between two emigrated Cuban filmmakers. Two childhood friends in their forties who, facing the challenges of emigration, try to rebuild themselves away from Cuba. An intimate and revealing film on friendship and exile.
Javier and Caty live in 31 bis, a slum near Recoleta, one of Buenos Aires's most elegant neighborhoods. Regarded as an ugly stain on the urban landscape, the state is modifying one of the main roads into the city so that the slum will no longer be visible from the highway, even though this means destroying part of it. Caty and Javier realize that the new road will pass through their canteen, which welcomes and provides food for the “pibes”: people -often drug addicts - who live in containers in the port. Over the years, the canteen has become the only place where these young people find comfort and can, thanks to cultural workshops, envisage reintegrating into society. As the roadwork progress, the containers and the "pibes" disappear. Javier and Caty, concerned about the situation, look for another place to create a refuge for these young people, with no certainty of finding one.
An old farmer, Lola, has been convinced to vote for the first time. A candidate running for major of the old village where Lola’s mountains belong, gave his word to stop an oil project that demands to tear down the cemetery where she has her family buried, most of them dead as farmer rights leaders. At the same time Abril, a relative, studying architecture in a faraway city has taken one of the rooms Lola rents to study farmer houses for some months as her degree project. She brings a new approach from her city on how to live as a female: to live her body, her word, her love (she has a girlfriend and a boyfriend), and challenges Lola on several ways with her thoughts, her skin, her character; as Lola challenges her too: after being disappointed by the now elected major, who is giving green light to the oil project, Lola decides to exchange all of her sheep for a shotgun to kill him.
El Joe, a genius, singer and composer, who with his tropical music and singular voice brought together overflowing crowds. In a hotel room in New York begins the journey of an artist who finds alienation in his multiple tours. Joe runs away with the love of his life: the crack pipe; the permanent and the established; that and his music, the sounds and Umo, his manager, his servant, his friend. Another slamming door, Joe sick and tired, locks himself in a fleabag hotel, set up to record the album of his life. He and his musicians would go together on a psychedelic trip. Joe closes the curtains of the hotel room in Bogotá. There is women stuff all over the place. Searching, jealous and paranoid; he is convinced that Mary, his Muse of inspiration, is being unfaithful. Cuero Duro finds the man who sabotaged every single thing he loved, to lock himself back in a random room, in a random city.
Laura returned from London where she migrated due to the lack of work in Tenerife. Shortly after leaving, her grandmother passed away and since then, she had not dared to return back. However now she is different, keen to stay in the island and live life to the fullest, she is ready to fall and rise again and pursue her dream life. This time she has an objective, set up the first Roller Derby team in the Canary Islands. With the freedom that arises at the beginning of someone’s rebirth, Laura is also seeking her substance, her personal essence. She is doing a self-contemplation, trying to understand her family-role that has been forgotten for so long, her sexuality and her existence as a free person in a tough society. During her self-discovery she has come across with women who had the same feeling and who help her to realize that she is not alone.
Mariana and Alberto are lawyers and work for an official program of mediation in prisons. In there, they lead working groups to give a speaking time to the prisoners to change the climate of violence in which they live. Mariana is warm and instinctive, and that brings her to be personally involved in every conflicts. She comes back home every evening, distressed by others’ stories and pain, shaken in her own beliefs. Alberto, on his side, is enough patient and tactful to find a solution for each problem. Mariana and Alberto are different but they complement each other and they are a team. This film is the story of their constant commitment to face the conflicts which appear suddenly in prisons but also in their relations with their own administration, where bureaucracy, personal interests and lack of funds affect the mission they want to carry on.
The life of Fernando, a peruvian immigrant, is apparently monotonous. He works extra hours in a Japanese factory and visits Izumi on some weekends. She is a dancer in a nightclub. But when the illegal business he carries with another immigrant is discovered, Fernando is deported to Peru where he also feels a stranger, despite it being his country. The Day of the Fish, a strange celebration made in both countries, will make Fernando take conscience of the place he occupies in the world.
Horror has become a daily occurrence for the people of Guatemala City: they live with it. Unexplained disappearances, rapes, murders, mutilated bodies, burned bodies or group executions are commonplace. Behind each body, there is someone waiting, a mother, a son, a father, a brother, a husband, a friend who hopes. This film navigates in the space that disappearance and death impose on the living, that’s what I want to film.
How a triple love relationship can be lived among 3 parents of young kids, in a Brazilian society that has become more explicit religious, violent and conservative on the latest years? Julia, a 36 years old mother of Tito, 3 years old, who works as conflict mediator in Brazilian community and courts, reencounter a old friend love of hers, a successful black visual artist Irina, who is also mother of two young kids, and now is married to a French guy, and the three of them try to live and establish a triple relationship, while facing the challenging conservative Brazilian Society, at their kids school, their works and their families.
Mixing time periods and reactivating a lost image of Mexicali’s Chinese community, La Chinesca tells the story of Haydée, a young woman from Sonora, forced by her family to migrate to Mexicali in 1922 because of an illegitimate pregnancy. After having to give up her son in order to marry an older, wealthy landowner, she delves into the Chinese underground tunnel city where she discovers opium and has a passionate affair with Lee, a Chinese man her age. Ninety years later, her great granddaughter Lola, a young punk rock singer with mixed-race traits, lives her slow, anti establishment life in the dull, desert Mexicali of today. Intricate narration and spectacular landscapes reflect the radically different times and expectations on these two women, slowly unraveling layers of migration, marginalization and sexual freedom, while delving into the infamous underground Chinatown of the 1930s.
1983, northern Chile. Lidia (7 years old) lives in an isolated mining town, which is being threatened by an unknown sickness. It has already killed several men and, according to the locals, it's transmitted when a man falls in love with another man. Only through a gaze. Her adored brothers, Alexo (23 years old) and Nicolás (15 years old), are suspected to be carriers of the sickness and therefore they're blindfolded and put in quarantine. Lidia sees that the townspeople begin to harass them, and their father, Gastón (43 years old), exposes them to humiliating public situations trying to prove that they are not ill. Everyone starts to believe them, however, things get complicated when Alexo catches a cold and cannot get better for weeks. This pushes Lidia towards a confrontation with her father and the townspeople who are immersed in the windstorm of a local myth, in order to get help.
Vicenta (55), is a medium gifted with the ability to talk to the dead and see the future. She daily receives a dozen of women friends at home who come to her in the search of truth. She lives in a big old house with the only company of her submissive daughter Vivian (22). Their lives are surrounded by a magic world full of ghosts, and characterized also by a sort of possessive relationship from mother to girl. One day Vivian unexpectedly leaves the house. For the first time Vicenta is by herself and can’t focus on her medium’s work. In the middle of a crisis of faith, she seems to have lost her gift. She can’t make it to read her cards. It seems like her gods won’t talk to her anymore. Vivian helps her mother to understand that for the very first time both of them are free... they can really do whatever they want. But, what to do with so much freedom? How to do it without a clear guidance?
Andrés, a young film graduate, returns to Dominican Republic believing he has no talent to be a director. His parents want to help him so they send an old video letter to Hollywood in which a very innocent Andrés invites his idol of youth, an old American action film star, to participate in his first film. The actor, depressed and forgotten, is encouraged by his agent to accept the offer so that he lightens up in the Caribbean and spends a few days on the beach. The actor accepts the invitation with the hope of finding meaning to his life. Andrés doesn’t want to film a script from his youth, but he continues as everyone begins to take him seriously for the first time. But when shooting begins, imbalances and mix-ups arise for both of them. However, as filming progresses, a friendship grows between them as they both need the film to save themselves from a life full of failures.
At a juvenile detention center, a young, idealistic educator is harassed by her colleagues. When the circle of violence closes in and she has nowhere to turn, a young detainee nicknamed “the Devil” offers to make her a deal.
Behind closed doors, four Cuban policemen work on a case. They watch on a TV the videos on a camera found in open sea. The camera has passed from hand to hand and contains videos of the daily life of three Cuban citizens from different social classes. Antonio (55), a rich Cuban, decides before leaving the country to sell his camera to Yeny (26), a film student who wants to make a documentary about the Cuban marginal world. Yuma (25), a pickpocket, answers her call but ends up being the new owner of the camera. For him, the camera is more than a toy, but through it he discovers the zoom and the incredible power of documenting his surroundings in Centro Havana. This is the policemen’s first viewing of the material during the investigation. We see these videos but we are not able to see the cops, just the screen of your television. We listen as they judge and criticize harshly.
It’s 1995. Clarice (35), a Texan housewife, moves to a small Mexican town near the coast, with her son Evan (7) and her husband Sterling (37) who has been transferred as an expat to work for an oil company. His shifts make him spend entire weeks at the oil fields, while Clarice, a free wanderer spirit, likes to explore the chaotic town and make new friends within the locals specially with Carlos (29) the school’s janitor, who shows her around and asks her out one night. Mike (55), her husband’s boss, sees them together at a bar one night and days later stops by her house for an unexpected visit. He ends up raping her in weird circumstances. After trying to do something about it, Clarice finds out she is completely alone: no one believes in her story. Everyone, even her husband, thinks is her fault. Clarice has to deal with an aftermath of the guilt, shame, powerlessness and vulnerability.
Martín is a 13-year-old shoeshine boy from La Paz, who has lived all his life in the streets with the desire to find his father. Driven by this desire and some comments from his surroundings, Martín begins to suspect that one of his best clients is his father. Mister Novoa, a lonely tailor who has as his only emotional bond his dog Astor, a fine German shepherd whom he cares for like a son. Martín, anguished by this presentiment, devises a plan to kidnap the dog, with the intention of confronting this man that, he believes, has rejected him all these years.
Camila and Ricardo are a young and hispter couple that work together and share responsibility for their baby, Otto. After attending a soccer match, Ricardo comes back home with a weird wound. With each passing day, he becomes jealous, controlling and lazy, while he distances himself from the baby and Camila. After a few days, Ricardo organizes an ostentatious proposal. Camila is dazed and before she can even answer, Ricardo puts a ring on her finger. After a strange event, Camila also starts to behave differently, and she can only think of her big wedding party. Like Ricardo, Camila is affected by this new “disease” that seems uncontrollable.
Ariela (46), a Bolivian immigrant, has been working for eight years as housemaid in the home of a Chilean family. While Ariela takes care of the daughter of that family, her own daughter Nayeli (7) goes to school full time and then waits in a precarious ballet workshop for Ariela to pick her up. Ariela has lost contact with her parents, because they refuse to talk to her since she left the Aymara community where she grew up, however, her mother's health leads her to go on a trip to Bolivia so Nayeli can meet her grandmother. Ariela and Nayeli board a bus, but the loss of a purse with documents forces them to stay stranded at the border. Ariela decides to call a former boyfriend who lives in that town to help them. In this desolate place Ariela discovers the human limits, that the past is irreparable and how far she is willing to go to protect her daughter.
14-year-old Sarah lives alone with her mother, Julie ,37, in Puerto Rico. Aspiring to get into Julliard School of Art, she practices piano intensively. Her life is suddenly disturbed when Julie starts to show signs of mental instability. An increasing sense of persecution keeps Julie up at night, while Sarah stays up watching her mother’s personality vanish. Unable to manage the situation, Sarah’s concentration starts to become affected, along with her future at Julliard. Strongly refusing to hospitalize Julie, Sarah takes care of her mother. As she turns 15, she finds herself alone and with all her time taken up. Her impossibility to practice leads to her failure at the long-awaited audition to Julliard. Desperate and frustrated, Sarah confronts Julie forcing her into a mental facility. Soon regretting her action, Sarah must face her decision and confront her mother’s absence.