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Latin Wave 9

May 14, 2014

The ninth edition of LATIN WAVE: New Films from Latin America takes place Thursday–Sunday, May 1–4, with a group of new films premiering at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Scroll down for all films, showtimes, and tickets.

Admission
$10   General Admission
$8     MFAH members
$8     Senior Adults
$8     Students with ID Complimentary admission for students with ID on Sunday, May 4, only.

Organized by the MFAH in association with the creative partner Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires.
Sponsored by Tenaris.

                       

Past Films in This Series

 

Octubre

October

2010, Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Daniel and Diego Vega
Following the success and international recognition of The Milk of Sorrow and Undertow, October is yet another marker of a very exciting, creative time for Peruvian cinema. Brothers Daniel and Diego Vega austerely frame this absurd and charming tale of two misfits who come together around a rather strange circumstance. Clemente, a taciturn, lower-middle-class money lender, has his world turned upside down when a prostitute he frequented leaves a baby in a basket at his door. But for neighbor Sofia, ... more info
 

Asalto al cine

The Cinema Hold-Up

2011, Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Iria Gómez Concheiro
Filmmaker Iria Gómez in attendance Negus, Chale, Sapo, and Chata are four typical, bored, apathetic teenagers from one of the most dangerous areas in the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico’s Colonia Guerrero. But unlike most teens, they have decided to do something about their situation: hold up a megaplex cinema. First-time filmmaker Iria Gómez Concheiro moves the film forward beautifully—from establishing the aimless day-to-day lives of the main characters, through the planning of the heist, to the actual crime—with confident and ... more info
 

Los colores de la montaña

2010, Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Carlos César Arbeláez
With a remarkable group of child actors, first-time writer/director Carlos César Arbeláez narrates a beautiful tale of lost innocence set in the guerilla-military conflict of Colombia. Nine-year-old Manuel (Hernán Maricio Ocampo) lives in a remote farming village and dreams of becoming a great soccer player. When he receives the treasured gift of a new soccer ball, his dreams seem closer than ever—until he and his friends accidentally kick the ball into a mine field. Arbeláez expertly weaves the humor and ... more info
 

Post Mortem

2010, Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Pablo Larraín
Celebrated Chilean director Pablo Larraín offers a powerful follow up to his highly acclaimed Tony Manero with Post mortem. Larraín, a master of creating atmosphere, again transports us to 1970s Chile and the territory of Pinochet’s dictatorship, while frequent collaborator Alfredo Castro delivers another commanding portrayal of a deeply disturbing character. But this time, Larraín finds an undeniably unique perspective from which to observe history. The film takes place during one of the most tragically iconic moments in 20th-century Latin ... more info
 

Riscado ("Craft")

2010, Portuguese with English subtitles
Directed by Gustavo Pizzi
Filmmaker Gustavo Pizzi in attendance With the expressiveness of a golden-age Hollywood star, Karine Teles gives a tour-de-force performance as a talented actress who struggles through life with small, humiliating jobs to make ends meet, until she gets what may be her big break. Director Gustavo Pizzi, who co-wrote the script with Teles (his real-life wife), says that Craft is a film about “searching for the sky that is melting outside while we are sweeping the floor.” Pizzi portrays the ... more info
 

Todos tus muertos

2011, Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Carlos Moreno
Filmmaker Carlos Moreno in attendance Carlos Moreno follows his powerful debut Dog Eat Dog (which premiered in 2008 at Sundance) with this scathing satire about impunity in Colombia. After discovering of a pile of dead bodies, a naive farmer—ironically named Salvador—becomes ensnared in a sinister plot of corrupt politicians, abusive police, and worthless bureaucrats. Salvador’s simple reporting of the dead bodies draws him into an absurd and frightening waiting game as the mayor figures out how to handle the situation ... more info
 

Rompecabezas ("Puzzle")

2009, Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Natalia Smirnoff
Dedicated housewife and mother María del Carmen receives a strange yet compelling gift for her 50th birthday: a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the bust of Nefertiti. So taken is María with the image of the queen of ancient Egypt that she spends the whole night putting the puzzle together, and in doing so discovers a great talent and passion that brings her to question how she wants to live the rest of her life. Considered by many to be the ... more info
 

Gatos viejos ("Old Cats")

2010, Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Pedro Peirano and Sebastián Silva
 Filmmaker Pedro Peirano in attendance Sebastián Silva—best known for his sophomore work, The Maid (Latin Wave 2009), which won Sundance’s World Cinema Competition in 2009—has returned with a film that masterfully moves from farce to black comedy to melodrama. Co-directed with his writing partner Pedro Peirano, Old Cats portrays a seriously dysfunctional relationship between an octogenarian mother (played by master actor Belgica Castro, who turns 90 this year) who is free-falling into senility and her greedy, drug-addicted daughter who wants ... more info
 

Las Acacias

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Pablo Giorgelli
Winner of both the Camera d’Or and the Young Critics’ Award, Las Acacias was truly the crown jewel of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival selections. Rubén (Germán de Silva)—an unshaven, middle-aged truck driver for lumber companies—keeps  to himself. He agrees to take a young woman, Jacinta (Hebe Duarte), along on his route from Paraguay to Buenos Aires but is dismayed when she arrives with her 5-month-old baby. Less than happy with the situation but unable to escape his obligation, he begins the ... more info
 

Gordo, calvo y bajito

Fat, Bald, Short Man

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Carlos Osuna
Filmmaker Carlos Osuna in attendance Antonio—the fat, bald, and short man of the title—is a functionary in a notary office in Bogota, Colombia, a middle-aged virgin whose life has become a pitiable routine. As alone as a character in an Edward Hopper painting, Antonio suffers the indifference of society and the abusive, macho humor of his co-workers, until the day a new executive director comes to run the office. Señor Enriquez is as short, fat, and bald as Antonio, but clearly ... more info
 

Found Memories

Historias que so existem quando lembradas

2011, in Potuguese with English subtitles
Directed by Julia Murat
While filming in a small town in the southwest of Brazil, director Julia Murat stumbled upon a strange fact: the local cemetery had closed, and when the inhabitants died, their bodies had to be sent on a seven-hour boat ride to another city for burial. Combining her documentary work on the province of Mato Grosso—once the richest region in Brazil, now a decadent shell of its past glory—with this stranger-than-fiction story of the cemetery, Murat wrote and filmed Found Memories, ... more info
 

Miss Bala

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Gerardo Naranjo
Following its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Miss Bala became the most talked-about Mexican film of the past year. It tells the story of Laura (model/actress Stephanie Sigman), a Tijuana beauty pageant contestant who is delivered into the hands of a gang that is terrorizing northern Mexico. Although Laura succeeds in winning the crown, her experiences as an unwilling participant in Mexico’s violent war leave her shaken and transformed. Inspired by a true story, Miss Bala avoids docudrama ... more info
 

El Estudiante

The Student

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Santiago Mitre
Filmmaker Santiago Mitre in attendance Hands down the most brilliant discovery of last year’s Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI), Santiago Mitre’s debut feature is a taut, fast-moving drama about the intriguing world of Argentine university politics. Bright and good-looking Roque (Esteban Lamothe) arrives from a small town to study social sciences in the big city of Buenos Aires. But he stumbles upon his calling when he falls for one of the leaders of a campus political group, a striking ... more info
 

Las Malas Intenciones

Bad Intentions

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Rosario Garcia-Montero
Actress Katerina D’Onofrio in attendance An amazing debut from Rosario García-Montero—named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine—Las Malas Intenciones is a truly original coming-of-age story. Cayetana, played with startling naturalism by Fatima Buntix, is a nine-year-old girl from a wealthy family living outside the city of Lima whose life is about to be turned upside down. Both sweet and dark—imagine an underplayed Wednesday Addams with a delicate voice—Cayetana spends her days floating between the ... more info
 

¡Vivan las Antípodas!

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Victor Kossakovsky
Based on the simplest of premises—if you could dig straight through to the other side of the Earth, where would you end up?—¡Vivan las Antípodas! may be the most visually ravishing film you will ever see. The film screened at this year's SXSW film festival. Director/cameraman/editor Victor Kossakovsky presents an unforgettable film portrait of Earth, exploring four pairs of antipodes (places that are on the exact opposite side of the planet from each other). While a pair of toll collectors talks geopolitics and women by ... more info
 

Bonsái

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Cristián Jiménez
Filmmaker Cristián Jiménez in attendance Chilean director Cristián Jiménez pulls off a delicately beautiful high-wire act with his second feature film, Bonsái. He opens by letting us know the ending—“Emilia dies but Julio doesn’t. The rest is all fiction.”—compelling us to watch as he gracefully unfolds the tragic romance of a young man whose past is catching up with him. Julio and Emilia meet and fall in love, tenderly and awkwardly, as students of literature at the university. Eight years ... more info
 

The Cleaner

EL LIMPIADOR

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Adrián Saba
In Person: Actor Victor Prada A mysterious epidemic has Lima’s citizens dropping like flies. Forensic cleaner Eusebio’s (Victor Prada) job is to disinfect the homes of the recently dead. During a routine sterilization of what he believes to be an empty apartment, he is surprised to discover young Joaquin (Adrian Du Bois) hiding in the closet. When the city’s overcrowded orphanages refuse Joaquin, Eusebio decides to look after the boy himself. What ensues is a poignant and moving story of ... more info
 

Gone Fishing

DÍAS DE PESCA

2012, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Carlos Sorin
In person: director Carlos Sorin Middle-aged Buenos Aires native Marcos Tucci (Alejandro Awada) is a recovering alcoholic on his way to Patagonia to try his hand at fishing for shark. Bonding with a number of offbeat strangers, Marcos’s true intentions begin to emerge: he longs to reconnect with his estranged daughter Ana (Victoria Almeida), who has settled with her husband and infant son in the nearby town of Jaramillo. Filmed on location on the glorious Patagonian coastline, and employing a ... more info
 

Once Upon a Time Was I, Verônica

ERA UMA VEZ EU, VERÔNICA

2012, in Portuguese with English subtitles
Directed by Marcelo Gomes
FOR MATURE AUDIENCES
Skype Q&A with filmmaker Marcelo Gomes follows the screening Fresh from medical school, Verônica (Hermila Guedes) is given a residency at a busy Recife hospital. What promises to be a fulfilling new career fails to provide the satisfaction and sense of purpose she had envisioned. As her patients come and go, all seemingly afflicted with psychosomatic maladies or physical manifestations of melancholy, Verônica’s mind flees to her own, unexplained ailment. With her life seemingly falling into place both professionally and ... more info
 

After Lucia

DESPUÉS DE LUCÍA

2012, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Michel Franco
Due to the subject matter addressed in this film, there are scenes with intense content that may not be appropriate for more sensitive audience members. After her mother Lucía dies, teenager Ale (Tessa Ia) leaves the familiarity of Puerto Vallarta to accompany her father Roberto (Hernán Mendoza) for a new start in Mexico City. As Roberto immerses himself in opening his new restaurant, Ale settles in at a posh new school. She quickly makes friends, but a cell phone recording ... more info
 

7 Boxes

7 CAJAS

2012, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori
In person: producer Estefanía Ortiz Putting Paraguay on the cinematic map, 7 Boxes brings an inventive ingenuity to the traditional crime thriller. The setting is the country’s capital Asunción, a boiling urban hub that houses the infamous "municipal marketplaces”: a chaotic maze of vendors’ stalls hawking everything from produce and garments to pirated DVDs and cell phones. The film centers on Hollywood-obsessed wheelbarrow carter Victor (Celso Franco) whose greatest wish is for a camera cell phone to make a film. ... more info
 

Violeta Went to Heaven

VIOLETA SE FUE A LOS CIELOS

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Andrés Wood
Famed Chilean singer/songwriter Violeta Parra is a household name throughout Latin America, known both for the power of her music as well as for her life dedicated to music, art, and love. Violeta’s vivid and fervent life comes alive onscreen with perceptive delicacy and nuance. Wood’s non-chronological approach to Violeta’s extraordinary biography moves from her early days travelling in the Andes, to time spent in Poland and France, chasing love and artistic greatness. Played with precision by Francisca Gavilán, the ... more info
 

Juan of the Dead

JUAN DE LOS MUERTOS

2011, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Alejandro Brugués
Zombies have overtaken the streets of Cuba’s capital city and Juan (Alexis Díaz de Villegas) doesn’t quite believe the newscasts that they are dissidents sent by the American government. This hilarious and totally unexpected Cuban comedy blends humor, horror, zombie lore, and the idiosyncrasies of being an isolated Communist outpost in the Caribbean. When friends Juan and Lazaro happen to spot (and slay) a zombie, they are nonchalant about the episode. But when they realize that this is not a ... more info
 

The Towrope

LA SIRGA

2012, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by William Vega
William Vega’s first feature travels to a fascinating, little-known area of Colombia—the remote, sparsely populated highlands of the Andes. The film chronicles how the destructive effects of Colombia’s long-standing civil war extend to this far-flung corner of the country through the story of nineteen-year-old Alicia. When her family is murdered and her village destroyed, she flees to her only surviving relative, Uncle Don Oscar, a taciturn man living in isolation and reluctant to take her in. Don Oscar lives in ... more info
 

The Delay

LA DEMORA

2012, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Rodrigo Plá
María, a single mother of three, struggles to make ends meet as a seamstress. Circumstances force her to also care for her elderly father Agustin, who shows early signs of dementia. As the burden of caring for him increasingly weighs on María, she decides to take him to a home for the elderly, but she is turned away. Out of desperation, she commits an act that she soon regrets. Mexican/Uruguayan filmmaker Rodrigo Plá’s feature gives a sincere and nonjudgmental portrayal ... more info
 

Cristo Rey

2013, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Leticia Tonos Paniagua
For poverty-stricken Haitians, the Dominican Republic is a promised land, regardless of instances of racism and challenges in finding opportunity. Exploring the tensions between these close neighbors, Dominican filmmaker Leticia Tonos Paniagua creates a Caribbean version of the classic Romeo and Juliet tale. Janvier is determined to earn an honest living, despite the constant police harassment he faces. He gets a break working as a body guard for a local drug lord—watching his beautiful younger sister. As the two fall ... more info
 

The Amazing Catfish

Los insolitos peces gato

2013, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce
Introduced by filmmaker Claudia Sainte-Luce When strangers Martha (Lisa Owen) and Claudia (Ximena Ayala) share a hospital room, neither could foresee the profound influence that this chance meeting would have on their lives. Intuiting Claudia’s loneliness, mother of four Martha invites the young woman to her home. An orphan since the age of two, Claudia does not know how to navigate the relationships between Martha’s children, but as the realization that Martha is dying of AIDS dawns on her, her ... more info
 

All about the Feathers

Por las plumas

2013, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Neto Villalobos
Introduced by filmmaker Neto Villalobos Challo, bored by his day-to-day routine, buys a rooster, which he names Rocky, to get into cockfighting. The two become inseparable, with Challo taking Rocky along with him everywhere, singing to him—even letting him sleep in his bed. Unfortunately, Challo’s landlord, tired of the rooster waking up the neighbors at the break of dawn, is adamant that Rocky must go. Luckily Challo has friends who stick by him, including a loquacious workmate and Candy, the ... more info
 

So Much Water

Tanta agua

2013, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Ana Guevara Pose and Leticia Jorge Romera
Teenage Lucia and her brother Federico are spending summer with their father. Divorced, Alberto wants quality time with his kids and takes them to a popular resort. As the days pass and the rain pours down incessantly, their summer rental home seems to get smaller and smaller. Codirected by first-time feature filmmakers Ana Guevara Pose and Leticia Jorge Romera, Tanta Agua magnificently captures the claustrophobic atmosphere that a teenager experiences when forced into close quarters with her family. Lucia moves ... more info
 

The Mayor

El alcalde

2012, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Emiliano Altuna Fistolera, Diego Enrique Osorno, Carlos Federico Rossini
Introduced by filmmaker Carlos Rossini Since 2006, when a war on drugs and organized crime was declared, there have been about 60,000 narco-related fatalities in Mexico. Within this culture of violence, in the city of Monterrey sits San Pedro Garza Garcia, the richest municipality in Latin America. Presiding over this wealthy enclave is outspoken mayor Mauricio Fernández Garza, a millionaire who is determined to end the violence through any means necessary. A controversial figure, Fernández has no qualms about how ... more info
 

I Thought It Was a Party

Pensé que iba a haber fiesta

2013, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Victoria Galardi
*Introduced by filmmaker Victoria Galardi Divorced and living with her teenage daughter, Lu (Valeria Bertuccelli) asks her close friend Ana (Elena Anaya) to house-sit while she goes away with her new fiancée. Ana spends her days lazing by the pool, afflicted by a deep loneliness. During this time, Ana gets to know Lu’s ex-husband and begins an affair that will have profound implications on her friendship with Lu. Victoria Galardi’s second solo feature is an honest and poignant commentary on ... more info
 

Requiem NN

Réquiem NN

2013, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Juan Manuel Echavarría Olano
*Introduced by producer Margarita De la Vega Hurtado Directed by acclaimed Colombian artist Juan Manuel Echavarría Olano, this evocative documentary film portrays a community that defies the culture of violence by keeping alive the memory of the disappeared. The town of Puerto Berrío has endured 30 years of violence between armed guerrillas, the army, paramilitaries, and drug traffickers. Local townspeople have fished out the remains of victims of violence, called No Names (NNs), drifting downstream. They adopted and baptized these ... more info
 

La jaula de oro

2013, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Diego Quemada-Díez
The startling debut film from Diego Quemada-Díez presents a stark and unsentimental look at the realities of migration. Centering on the story of three young Guatemalans attempting to cross the U.S. border from Mexico, La jaula de oro compels viewers to contemplate the harsh circumstances that many migrants must face. Juan, Samuel, and Sara (who is forced to disguise herself as a boy) embark on a journey that they believe will culminate in a life of ease and comfort once they ... more info