Tag Archives: immigration

La jaula de oro (2013) by Diego Quemada-Díez #WFF2013

The title could be translated as The Golden Cage. The film tells a story of 4 South Americans – teenagers without future in native Guatemala, who pursue on a quest to reach California.
One of them is a girl, who decides to pretend she’s a boy, another is a native Indian who speaks no Spanish (and obviously none of them speak any English).
One of the strongest works presented at this year’s Warsaw Film Festival.
The United States of America is a country built on immigration – and yet, nowadays, it is one of the most guarded countries to get into. It is a promised land for many, but the outcome of the story told here is that obviously – our dreams are rarely realistic and that reaching the dreamland is actually not a goal, but a step in the journey that is life.
It is not an optimistic message, it is a great road movie made with the characteristic Mexican realism (it is a Mexican-Spanish co-production).
An important, universal message to all those unaware of immigrant struggles all over the world, who decide to leave their homeland in search for a better life, which unfortunately rarely does turn out to be a massive improvement.
What is indicative and strengthens the message – is the final credits theme severly based on traditional funeral march.


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Filed under film reviews, Warsaw Film Festival 2013

Between Two Fires by Agnieszka Lukasiak (2011)

Agnieszka Lukasiak is a Polish born Swedish film director.

The film tells the story of a young Polish woman with 11-year old daughter escaping from a cruel Belarussian partner and his gangster mates commercially interested in the beauty of the lovely child.

Magdalena Poplawska, who plays the mother, impersonates a typical brave Polish woman. Having heard of a friend who succeeded after immigrating to Sweden, she decides to go there.

Nothing is ever as beautiful as it sounds, therefore her trip is suspiciously easy until she finds herself at a refugee camp, where tough reality meets the expectations.

The film is a feature debut of the young director and clearly depicts great talent.

The situation of immigrants is presented with a documentalist eye. The ruthless bureaucratic system is like a gravestone that will not move an inch no matter how many tears an immigrant sheds.

Between Two Fires is both optimistic and realistic. Very much like in life, there are beautiful things happening and very dramatical ones at almost the same time. The director’s philosophy seems to flow through the mouth of the female supporting role – Anissa.

I definitely recommend this one. It carries universal truths and values, when the technicalities seem to be transparent and effortlessly deliver a brilliant and important film.

5 stars.

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Filed under Film Festivals, film reviews, Off Plus Camera 2011