The ten Latino films of the decade
Cinema Tropical has released its list of the 25 best movies of the last ten years.
Some movies anchor you in time. You can say "Yes, it was the year that Amores Perros was released" or "I remember it! It was the year of 'Todo Sobre Mi Madre'." Sometimes, a film director reaches its zenith and also drowns in a matter of a decade, such as Guillermo del Toro, capable of good - "The Labyrinth of the Faun"- and bad movies - "The shape of water, for example.
None of these previous movies is among the most memorable of the last decade; especially since, they were all released before 2010. Now, when we are on the threshold between 2019 and 2020, Cinema Tropical has made its list.
Based on a poll of 97 international festivals and cinematheques from the United States and Europe and around 234 films, this list of the best 25 Latin American movies of the decade has a clear “top one” from an Argentinean director. Can you guess which one is it?
Meanwhile, as we only have a little more than a month and a half left to watch them all, we have summed up this top 25 in a top 10. These are the ten best Latino movies.
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Nominated for the best foreign-language movie at the Oscars and based on the homonymous book by Antonio Di Benedetto. Zama tells the story of an official of the Spanish Crown (Daniel Giménez Cacho) in Latin America of the 18th century. Zama waits for a letter from the King that takes him away from the border, while he is forced to submit to the orders of the Governors.
One day he decides to leave with a departure of soldiers in search of a dangerous bandit. There will begin an adventure in strange lands, situations of paranoia and extreme violence.
Director: Mariano Llinás
A 14-hour movie divided into six strange episodes: one of them is inspired by the B-series mummy films; the other is a musical with touches of mystery and people addicted to scorpion toxin; a French novel of the pampas or a “gaucho” version of a Renoir painting… all together, assembled and cooked for more than a decade. No doubt that Mariano Llinás redoubled his acclaimed "Extraordinary Stories" with this film.
Director: Ciro Guerra
Also nominated for the best foreign-language film at the Oscars in 2015, it tells the story of an Amazon shaman, the last survivor of his town, whose lonely life skips the day an ethnobotanist crosses his path. Together they embark on a journey through the jungle in search of a plant that makes people dream, thus confusing the present, the past and the future in a story of great beauty, lyricism, symbolism, and aesthetics similar to that of the old ethnographic documentaries.
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Ten nominations and three Oscars -the Best Foreign movie, Director and Photography -, and a great success at the Mostra and the Golden Globes, prove that Cuaron’s movie that recreates his childhood as a tribute to his nanny Libo-Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), is one of the most memorable features of the decade.
Director: Patricio Guzmán
How long is heaven from earth? And humans from light? Half documentary, half fiction, this beautiful movie invites us to climb three thousand meters high together with astronomers gathered in the Atacama Desert (Northern Chile) in search of extraterrestrial life. And while they get lost in the black immensity, a group of women look for the remains of their relatives among the stones ... There are missing miners, indigenous, bones of the political prisoners of the dictatorship. Why do we look up and not to each other?
Director: Carlos Reygadas
Country: Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico
In a very unique aesthetic beauty, this awarded movie focuses on the desires, dreams, and fears of a wealthy family set in the rural area of Tepoztlán. In fact, Reygadas’s children perform in the film and it is shot in their own home. That’s why, according to some critics, it's sort of a filmmaker’s personal exorcism.
However, the protagonist is an architect addicted to Internet pornography and prone to mistreat animals.
Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Country: France, Brazil
A retired music critic, who lives in the Aquarius building (Recife), has a strange gift to travel across time. That’s the point in "Doña Clara", a movie where the actress Sonia Braga performs brilliantly. Aquarius is also a story about how memories are around us, sharing the space with people, and how objects are guardians of these memories.
Director: Lisandro Alonso
With a superb performance by the chameleonic Viggo Mortensen, "Jauja" drags us to a strange land, of myths, in search of that paradise that we all ambition and that is the reason why we get lost. And where do they appear? In Patagonia at the end of the 19th century, during the genocidal campaign known as the Conquest of the Desert, where a Danish captain looks for his daughter.
Brutal and beautiful like a classic tale.
Director: Tatiana Huezo
An intimate, poetic and very particular look at the painful reality of two women, one deprived of freedom and the other marked by the disappearance of her daughter. A documentary that drags us to the north of Mexico, to a territory of violence where the desert takes desires one inch at a time and buries them under the dust and sand.
"Tempestad" turned its director, Tatiana Huezo, into the first woman to receive the Ariel award for best direction in the history of Mexican cinema.
Director: Federico Veiroj
Country: Spain, Uruguay
A middle-aged movie fanatic who lives with his parents and works in a cinematheque suddenly goes unemployed. He must survive far from the dark rooms and the old movies that crack on the screen... Can cinema help him face a new life?