This is the second Cine Latino Film Festival, joining many other film festivals that Palace Cinemas runs or supports, reflecting a desire to share some of the world’s best cinema with local audiences. There is something for everyone in the programme, with over 30 films in a variety of genres, from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and more.
The opening night film was ‘You’re Killing Me Susana’ starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Veronica Echegui and directed by Roberto Sneider. Sneider, who previously directed the period drama ‘Tear This Heart Out’, displays great comedic instincts while maintaining a strong dramatic story throughout.
The film opens with Eligio (Bernal) coming home to his wife Susana (Echegui) drunk after a night of carousing. When he wakes she is no longer there, kicking off the story as we gradually get to learn more about their life together. Including why she may have left and why she may have stayed for as long as she did.
The film is shot in at least two countries with the cinematography perfectly conveying a sense of place. There is an energy and vibrancy in the editing of shots to ramp up tension or reflect a party mood at times. Along the way there are some good observations about the way races view each other, how men can ruin their lives with their egos and how women can change their minds quickly and seemingly in a contradictory manner. These are flawed individuals and it’s a credit to the actors that we get involved in their plight and want to find out what happens to them.
The audience in attendance laughed at various insights into relationships and other truths. One of the great joys of the film is that there is an air of unpredictability until around the third act. At that point though maybe we feel we know these characters enough to decide what is best for them.
After the film patrons were treated to food from Moda which included Brazilian Chicken Croquette, Mexican mini flutes with chicken and guacamole and Colombian Potato with Beef Mince. Wine was served along with some Jamaican rum and cokes. Latin Dancers twirled around the foyer entertaining the crowd with their rhythmic moves while wonderful Latin music filled the air courtesy of a live band.
The Cine Latino Film Festival has gotten off to great start on opening night and there is only more fun to be had at the fiesta of films to follow.
For the full festival programme and venues, visit their website.
Cine Latino Film Festival Dates14-26 November – Sydney
15-26 November - Canberra
16-26 November – Melbourne
16-26 November – Brisbane
16-29 November – Adelaide
23-29 November – Hobart