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Personal Realism at New Directors/New Films 2019


By Roger Costa


Writer-Director Luke Lorentzen’s remarkable documentary stirs up controversy as it reports Mexico City’s decadent health system, forcing its citizens to hire private ambulances, as the city only operates a few dozens of it to serve a more than 9 million. Three generations are identified through the real story of a father and his two sons (a confident, very mature teen and a playful child) as they fearlessly drive around the city seeking to help the wounded. It’s their way of making a living, but it’s also an act of compassionate volunteerism, as they face the risks of being unpaid- most of their patients, don’t have any resources to pay. Insightful, shocking and inclusive, it’s a work of great urgency. (Screens 4/4 and 4/5.)


Lucio Castro’s feature length debut follows the passionate romance between two successful men as they cross paths during vacation in Barcelona, and suddenly realize they’ve met a couple of decades ago. As the film absorbs the anxieties, perspectives and desires of the two men, one is a poet living in New York, the other is a married with children TV show producer living in Berlin, Castro brilliantly crafts a meditative mosaic about the social transformations and its effects on behavior and relationships, pointing to the parallels between the two generations. (Screens 3/30 and 4/2.)


After waiting years for a job, a woman is finally called to represent a health prevention company in a distant town. In order to provide and make ends meet and still grieving her mother’s loss, she embarks on the adventure but suddenly sees her world upside down, when her husband unexpectedly disappears. Actress Grace Passô gives a breakthrough performance as she undresses her character with perfect emotional balance, while director André Novais Oliveira crafts a powerful, touching and raw portrait of the Brazilian minority class’ struggle. (Screens 3/31 and 4/2.)


Exquisitely composed as a mystery crime tale, Turkish director Burak Cevik’s sophomore project is narrated by a young man who had possibly helped his girlfriend to commit a horrendous double murder. Observing only objects and places at first, he introduces the story with precise details on their reasons and personalities, before presenting on screen the suspects, how they met and the crime’s articulation. It’s a hauntingly poetic and enigmatic puzzle about a reckless love and its maddening consequences. (Screens 4/4 and 4/5.)

Léa Campos: Amistoso Vergonhoso

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