The world of Salvador, a young and naive petty thief is changed by the arrival of his cousin Angel, an ex-convict in search of easy money, and with a hideout. Salvador gets wrapped up in ... See full summary »
Blaquito is thirty years old and lives with his mother in El Matal, a small fishing village on the coast of Ecuador. One day, the beach turns up filled with cocaine packets. Blanquito, ... See full summary »
Paco Chavez's life is careless and charming. It's a life of illicit drugs and a forbidden love affair he carries with Lucia, his former high school sweetheart, now married to another man. ... See full summary »
Esperanza and Tristeza both have to get to Cuenca. However, by an unlucky turn of events, the bus they are on gets delayed due to a worker strike. Taking their journey into their own hands,... See full summary »
Everything begins with a stray bullet... And a wealthy young man trying to evict 250 families who are squatting on the land he inherited from his father. The leader of the squatter ... See full summary »
Pablo, Andres and Juan, get into their biggest teenager adventure, when Juan decides to run away from home. He is not willing to go back because his father, an old fashioned policeman, ... See full summary »
The statue of the Virgin that crowns "The Panecillo" looks and smiles to the north of the city, home to wealthier people, in the south, where most of its inhabitants are the most poor, they... See full summary »
When the star of a sensationalistic Miami news show travels to the Ecuadorian coastal village of Babahoyo to cover the story of a serial killer who hunts children, his personal ambition gets out of hand, and his pursuit of a moment of glory carries tragic consequences. Written by
Juan Tovar & Mandy Goldberg
This was Colombian actor John Leguizamo's first film in Spanish. As all of his projects have been in English, he felt awkward talking in Spanish while acting. He felt he didn't know the language. See more »
A Tough Look at the Responsibilities of Tabloid Journalism
"Crónicas" is an updated, Latinization of Billy Wilder's cynical 1951 film "Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)," where a tabloid reporter selfishly manipulated an emotional story of a trapped miner.
Where films like "Medium Cool" and "The China Syndrome" showed reporters as heroes getting radicalized by the stories they are covering, writer/director Sebastián Cordero effectively creates a hot, grimy, gritty environment for an ethically-challenged tabloid TV reporter who gets too mired in a serial murder investigation in the slums of Equador that recalls the hysteria and circus around the Atlanta child killings.
The irony of the power of today's ubiquitous media is shown to searing effect, including the power to manipulate it for personal purposes by all sides. The cat and mouse negotiations between the reporter and a questionable source (the enthralling Damián Alcázar) are as tense as those in "The Silence of the Lambs," and in an ugly environs that we can practically smell through the screen.
John Leguizamo is completely believable as a swaggering, self-promoting celebrity TV reporter for a popular show covering scandals across the southern hemisphere, flitting from his Miami base to drug lord hostages in Columbia to salacious murders, in and out of English. We are alternately sympathetic to his efforts and his bouts of conscience, then repelled by him.
He is flanked by somewhat stereotypes of a lanky, battle-hardened cameraman who eagerly focuses on close-ups of violence and gore and an ambitious woman producer who plunges into research and infidelity with equal verve, who utilize the most shiny, high tech communications gear to capitalize on their tunneling through the muck of human nature, though even they finally reach their ethical boundaries.
The focus is kept tightly on the reporter's responsibilities, as the producer comments ruefully: "We got the only honest cop in Latin America." The script and the camera certainly play with us, in edits of slowly revealed information that change our impressions of the facts, and as the reporter tensely tries to both get a scoop and do as much of the right thing as his ambitions allow.
As an intelligent thriller, this film certainly puts a brutal spin on the issue of a reporter protecting his sources, even as the worst of the implications happens off camera.
The background song selections fit the mood, though I have some feeling that the Spanish lyrics had significance.
The English subtitles had some errors.
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