Monday, November 26, 2007

Quién mató a la llamita blanca?

My second outing to the DLA film festival was apparently a monster box-office hit back home in La Paz.

It's a chaotic comedy that follows a pair of Indian crims Jacinto y Domitila − the most-wanted cholos in the land − as they traverse it with 50Kgs of Bolivian marching powder destined for Brazil. Behind them, in front of them and occasionally even overlapping with them, are a pair of likeable miscreants from the anti-narcotics police.

Essentially this is a full-on satirical caricature of a nation which shares many of the fundamental structural (and cultural) difficulties endured by Guatemala, which I suppose made it that much more funny and interesting for me. (Bolivia isn't − as the script suggests − the only country suffering from collective amnesia at key moments like general elections!)

I sympathised with George and Paula sitting beside me as much of the humour had been stashed in the language and its pronunciation, but they came out with the view that Rodrigo Bellot's film was vastly better than Sleuth, which they had seen the night before.

Latin Americans are usually better at laughing at their defects than they are at correcting them. Indeed some of the best piss-takers that I have met in Guatemala are quite literally taking the piss when it comes to the daily conduct of their own lives.

Being British I personally would have tried a bit harder to distil some of the film's raucous cynicism into irony proper: it tends to penetrate more deeply than mere mockery. I'd also have advised the director to ease off a bit with the innovative cinematic trickery. Still, highly recommended.

The whole movie is available in parts on YouTube.

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