Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sangre de mi Sangre or Padre Nuestro a Masterpiece?

Sometimes a film with certain narrative or structural weaknesses has so much excellence in its content that you are well rewarded if you just throw out your criticisms and enjoy the moments as they unfold.

"Sangre de mi Sangre" (the better title is the original "Padre Nuestro") was just given two showings at the Chicago Latino Film Festival. It's a film that deserves wider distribution. Perhaps overlong, and with a plot that is rather too complex and relies on coincidence a bit too much, this movie nevertheless sucks you emotionally into the lives of its characters, Mexican immigrants living at the margins in New York City. The core of the movie is the story of the two young Mexicans trying in their separate ways to survive in an alien environment. The plot revolves around stolen identity and personal interconnections as the two protagonists try to gain security through money or through relationships. The story recalls another masterpiece of ambivalence, "The Son", and I'll say no more, except to indicate that the conclusion of the action is richly satisfying, if harsh. Just a word about the performances: the director is clearly a genius at handling actors. The leads give virtuoso turns to their characterizations, and the cast throughout shows never a false note.

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