Santiago is a 23-year-old Peruvian Navy veteran returning to the city of Lima; sincere, considerate, deserving, undereducated, desperate and paranoid. He's fighting for a peaceful life.
In his debut feature Peruvian writer-director Josué Méndez recontextualises Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Thirty years on and a continent away the conflicts between civilian and military codes of conduct, adolescence and adulthood are as potent as ever.
Santiago has fought and killed in wars against Ecuador, against terrorists and drug-traffickers. These are horrific conflicts involving real people, peasants: men, women and children. His discharge pay isn’t enough to buy a fridge. He can’t get the qualifications he needs. He can’t get advice. His only friends are Navy vets, a generation exploited and abandoned; one takes his own life and the rest turn to crime. But Santiago can’t give up hope of normality. Taxi driving becomes his lifeline.
Pietro Sibille’s performance is the essence of the film, which was written then re-interpreted through improvisation over a period of months. A ‘real-life Santiago’ was also an advisor. It rings true. The cinematography is also persuasive – close, handheld – we’re so often at Santiago’s shoulder that we’re viewing the world with him, looking into the eyes of the people who can’t or won’t relate. Without the use of flashback we understand that he’s haunted by his memories. The present is shot in black and white as well as colour, edited skillfully to describe his breakdown. Through to the genuinely surprising outcome his actions are credible and significant. LL
Playing with CINE HOLIÚDY: THE GOOD GUY AGAINST THE BAD GUY
Brazil 35mm 15 mins Director/Producer/Screenplay Halder Gomes DoP Roberto Iuri Cast Edmilson Filho, Haroldo Guimarães, Maria Fernanda Mota Print Source firstname.lastname@example.org
Francisgleydisson is the owner of Cine Holiúdy, a very modest movie theater in the country side of Brazil back in the ’70s. He multiplies himself in many duties to bring the movie magic to the humble audience.