The story of Jacinto Medina, a young Mexican herder who is bored with his life herding sheep and dreams of moving north. Jacinto decides to leave his life behind and embark upon a personal odyssey when he stumbles upon a mysterious keychain. Will the key chain lead Jacinto to his own paradise or will the journey be all for nothing? Written by
The FreeStyle Life
It was a Saturday evening in the beautiful capital of Guanajuato, Mexico (a place you, dear reader, might know thanks to Robert Rodriguez's ONCE UPON A TIME IN Mexico); the international-famed Festival Cervantino was celebrating the closing weekend of its 2012 edition and I was there with my girlfriend, with no alcohol in our blood (unlike the vast majority of people there and, actually, myself during the previous two editions) and ready to enjoy the free outdoor screening of a film at the main building of the wonderful University of Guanajuato.
I had arrived to Guanajuato that very same Saturday and the film I was about to see was the last one of the University screenings. All of the films shown there were from Mexico (at other venues like auditoriums there was, for instance, a retrospective of HERO director Zhang Yimou); but regardless of the film about to play, we just wanted to enjoy the beautiful location and stuff.
However, two problems emerged quite soon after we sat down at the stairs of the university. You know, it was pretty obvious that none of the many drunk-out-of-their-minds rich kids (or poor, for that matter) were going to stop their party just because a bunch of antisocial persons like us were about to watch a film. Noise everywhere, certainly, but eventually the sound of the movie was all right so it wasn't extremely annoying.
The other problem was, in fact, the actual movie! We didn't know a thing about A TIRO DE PIEDRA but at the same time, it deals with a subject that has been exploited enough in every form to not really create any kind of interest. The subject I'm talking about is the illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States. As real and brutal as that subject is, the second I realized A TIRO DE PIEDRA was going to deal with it the second I knew I was there for some boredom. In other words: more of the same, exploited as hell, situations with a Mexican going for a hell-on-earth experience as he tries to cross the border.
I don't want to discourage anyone, non-Mexican audiences specifically, that wants to take a look at the reality of the extremely dangerous illegal immigration business (it involves a lot of money, negotiation and profit for some, thereby is a business). And it's just not the Mexico- US border in my country, when a illegal immigration conversation goes on, there's usually someone who points out the way foreigners who try to cross the Guatemala-Mexico border are treated.
A TIRO DE PIEDRA wants simply to show its audience that mentioned problem. Maybe there's someone who didn't have a single clue and therefore this film open the eyes of that viewer. I'm not saying, however, it's a piece of realism, nor that things up there happen just like in the screen. After all, I don't really know a thing about that (reality). I'm just saying it can alert someone about the whole problem.
On the other part, A TIRO DE PIEDRA is a very bad, poorly executed movie. It's one that's all right when nobody but Gabino Rodríguez (the so-so main performer) is around. It actually begins as a sort-of artsy thing, with shots of just Gabino and the respective landscape. Eventually he decides to give up his life in Mexico and go up north. Then is time for Gabino to interact with other actors; it's clear to me that some of the minor roles went to people who aren't actors (probably to get the feel of realism). Alejandro González Iñárritu, for instance, had luck and none of the non-professional actors of AMORES PERROS made it look cheap; on the contrary, Sebastian Hiriat didn't have such luck and A TIRO DE PIEDRA looks extremely cheap thanks to its acting.
I think anyone interested in filmmaking will be jealous at Sebastian Hiriat for his filming schedule. The guy basically approached this project as a road movie and got to travel and film from North-Central Mexico to Oregon, passing through San Diego, California. Sounds great to make your own sort-of INTO THE WILD trip and film everywhere, right? But I guess all of this planning took Hiriat's complete attention and he forgot to take care of such basic elements as acting and, yes, the story. You wanna know how to turn a simple story, about the constant tragedy of a Mexican immigrant, into a messy, incoherent one? Then see this one. Otherwise, stay away. Did I mention it feels, ultimately, unbelievable?
*Watched it on 20 October, 2012
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