From the Tropics to the mental hospital at IFF Panama 2017

A DUEL POSTPONED. ENTERTAINING AND CRAZY HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP IN A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL. DRAMA AND CRIME FINALLY MAKES FATHER AND TEENAGE SON RELATE. THE DISPUTE FOR THE LAND AND THE PORTRAIT OF A TENSE SOCIETY. EVERYTHING IN IFF PANAMA 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ambition, corruption, betrayal  and everything that entails the pursuit of power and money in a society: Such is Life in the Tropics
 

A young man trying to evict 250 families who are squatting on the land he inherited from his father while the leader of the squatter is ready to negotiate, knowing that an eviction will not happen without blood. Such is Life in the Tropics portrays the city of Guayaquil through all its social strata, latent tensions that can only be resolved through violence. This is Sebastián Cordero's sixth feature and it was released in September in Ecuador.

 

They have different life stories, but a chance to run away from a psychiatric facility will help them realize the beauty in imperfection: Like Crazy 
 

In a center for mentally disturbed women, Beatrice (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) and Donatella (Micaella Ramazzotti) become friends. During educational work outside the clinic, they take a chance to escape from custody, starting an adventurous trip that will disclose their past and change their lives. They smile in silence at their first taste of freedom, which justifies the wild runaway behavior that follows. The story’s most complex piece of the puzzle is Donatella’s relationship with her young son, who was put up for adoption, something she will never forgive herself for. 

In a balance between the ill and the real life, this films shows how it is to live with a sickness and the little differences between these people and the ones that are considered healthy. The story is set in year 2014, before a law that ordered all Judicial Mental Hospitals to close was presented. 

 

When the flesh is rotten, he will try to protect himself: Jesus a story of ultimate betrayal
 

Jesus (Nicolás Durán), an errant teenager from Santiago de Chile, enjoys being part of an all-boys group that performs at K-pop-fueled dance-offs. With his buddies, he is also into less innocent forms of entertainment, including watching snuff videos, inhaling forbidden substances or engaging in rough nookie with both male and female friends or acquaintances. 

One night, they end up sneaking into a park, after having been thrown out of a club for bad behavior and a combination of alcohol and machismo makes things spiral out of control, leaving the defenseless stranger unconscious. He finds himself in such an unpardonable situation that he can’t but turn to his father (Alejandro Goic). This is the second fiction feature from director Fernando Guzzoni. 

 

A young and dedicated nurse is trying to avoid the pain left by her dear cousin's suicide: The Sound of Things
 

Death is a ritual for Claudia (Liliana Biamonte), the young nurse at the center of Costa Rica director Ariel Escalante’s thoughtful debut The Sound of Things. Suffering from the suicide of her cousin just a few months earlier, Claudia leads a drab life helping patients on a tight schedule, riding the bus home at the end of each day, and wandering around her apartment. 

Either bored or baffled by histrionic group therapy sessions she attends with her grieving aunt, Claudia finds herself more at home with denial. Sometimes she finds herself fine, until someone arrives to shake up the illusion of stability around her. The Sound of Things won a special prize on IFF Panama’s work-in-progress section Primera Mirada 2015.

 

  • Such is life in the Tropics, dir. Sebastián Cordero, 2016. Ecuador, Mexico and Germany. 
  • Like Crazy, dir. Paolo Virzì, 2016. Italy and France. 
  • Jesus, dir. Fernando Guzzoni, 2016. France, Chile, Germany, Greece and Colombia. 
  • The Sound of Things, dir. Ariel Escalante, 2016. Costa Rica.

 

 

The IFF Panama Foundation
The International Film Festival of Panama Foundation (IFF Panama Foundation) is a non-profit organization created to support the International Film Festival of Panama while promoting cultural and educational activities as an integral part of the event. The Festival is supported primarily by the Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias (MICI), the Dirección General de Cine (DICINE), the Autoridad de Turismo de Panamá, Mastercard®, Copa Airlines, Stella Artois, Revista K, TVN and Telemetro, among other generous sponsors.