The “Villa Virgin”, a shantytown in the slums of Buenos Aires. Julian and Nicolas, two priests and long-standing friends, work tirelessly to help the local people.
Julian uses his political connections to oversee the construction of a hospital. Nicolas joins him following the failure of a project he was leading in the jungle, after paramilitary forces assassinated members of the community. Deeply troubled, he finds a little comfort in Luciana, a young, attractive, atheist social worker. As Nicolas’ faith weakens, tension and violence between the slum drug dealing cartels grow. And when work on the hospital is halted by ministerial decree, the fuse is lit… –Cannes Film Festival
Pablo Trapero was born in Buenos Aires in 1971. His feature films are Mundo Grúa (1999), shown at Venezia (Critics Award), and El bonaerense (2002), which was presented at the Festival de Cannes 2002 in Un Certain Regard. He also directed Naikor, a short film premiered in 2001, and Sarasa, a documentary for television (2002). In 2002 he created Matanza Cine, an independent film production company, which produced La libertad by Lisandro Alonso, Ciudad de Maria by Enrique Bellande and La mecha by Raul Perrone. –Cannes
Though likeable and interesting, some scenes didn’t put all the excitement possible, evincing some difficulties on maintaining an easy flow and denoting some ups and downs in the narrative. Review and Rating: http://alwayswatchgoodmovies.blogspot.com/2013/05/white-elephant-2012.html
El auteur Trapero se mete una vez mas en el fango de las problemáticas sociales contemporáneas de todo habitante de Latino América y sale con una película que de cine no tiene absolutamente nada, sino que mas bien insiste con señalar discursivamente y a través de unos planos secuencias sumamente descriptivos y didácticos el terreno de las villas miseria, donde todo es crudeza y desolación. Eso si, siempre en despampanante 2:35:1, no vaya ser que en Cannes nos abucheen.
The performances are predictably terrific and heartfelt, but Trapero aims high and fails with a pretty artificially looking "social commentary" film that pales in comparison to his recent other works.
Trapero aims big here. He's gunning for GOD and tackles faith, corruption, poverty, purpose and mortality all at the same time. It's a lot to take in as we zig-zag through the slums of Buenos Aires with a multitude of characters and side plots. The performances are fine but we never spend enough time with any one individual to truly develop empathy and by the end are no closer to understanding why? 3 stars