The fourth edition of this week's film league is dedicated to The Roots. I have selected a film from my country and from the last decade with a social theme, the excellent Rock, Paper or Scissors.
And what if the Lion eats them all? Richo - character in the movie
A story of different lives that, due to circumstances and whims of fate, crossed paths, transforming a normal day into a tragedy. The couple formed by Hector and Mariana, seems to have problems, they are an upper middle class family, living in a good area of the city. On the other side of the city, in a dangerous poor neighborhood of Caracas, there is the young couple Christian and Valentina, she works in a bakery and he has dealings with the criminals who dominate the area. Hector takes his young son Luis to school, the boy has a model of the food chain for the class, during the journey, the boy realizes that the Lion of the model has stayed at home, forcing them to return. That simple detail is the trigger for all the unfortunate events that will occur.
The presentation of the characters is done in a parallel way, we see how a normal day starts for both families. The upper-middle class couple and the young couple from the poor neighborhood. For them it is a day of the daily routine of getting up, going to work, to school, etc. Without imagining that their lives will change forever.
The model that the child must take to class works as a metaphor for the reality of a country. In one scene Luis explains to another child ( Richo ) that it is about the food chain, with consumers, predators, scavengers, etc. And above all with the lion, which is the dominant one. The city of Caracas has a lion as a symbol.
It is the city, with its corruption and violence, that will end up devouring them all.
Director Hernán Jabes has extensive experience in making commercials, music videos and in 2007 he made his film debut with the film Macuro, the strength of a people. He has also made short films. I saw the short film called RAMON, but I have yet to see the other short films, which he made during the last protests against the dictatorship.
I recommend the productions of this Venezuelan talent, who currently lives in Mexico, where he works with his film production company SantosFilms. Among the most important music videos he has directed are Rotten Town for the singer Onechot and De fuego en fuego for the electronic music group Famasloop.
The filmmaker has a channel on YouTube where his productions can be viewed legally and for free. The same director uploaded the complete film, in high quality, with English subtitles, so that as many people as possible can see it.
The direct link to the film with English subtitles: Link
On the same youtube channel, you can find the filmmaker's music videos and short films. The one called Ramon has English subtitles.
The musical group Famasloop, friends of the director, were in charge of making the incredible soundtrack of the film. I love their music and they did an extraordinary job for the film. This is another reason why this is one of my favorite Venezuelan films of the last few years. I invite you to watch their official channel on yoputube to listen and see some of their great music: link
The cast of the film is perfect. Each one immersed in his role. Colombian actress Gloria Montoya plays Mariana. Leonidas Urbina is Hector, the airline pilot who first sees his marriage destroyed, and then fights for the life of the person he loves most in the world. Actress Scarlett Jaimes plays Valentina, the young woman who dreams of having a family with Christian. She has been seen in other Venezuelan productions, such as The Inca and the well-known film From There. Actor Leandro Arvelo, whose family has become involved in film, plays Christian, a young man like many who grows up in the poor neighborhoods, that environment that pushes them to mix with criminals, until they end up becoming the same as them.
In Venezuela, films of different genres have been made; not everything is about criminals. What happens is that this type of cinema with social content, which shows the violence of one of the most dangerous countries in the world, receives a lot of attention.
We cannot enter a glass bubble. Corruption, crime and uncontrolled violence are part of the life of the Venezuelan. The cinema is just a way of expressing and denouncing reality, which is always worse than what we see on a movie screen.
Whether we like it or not. This is an everyday reality.
My Rankin: 4/5
Trailer - English subtitles