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When his long-lost brother resurfaces, Jacobo, desperate to prove his life has added up to something, looks to scrounge up a wife. He turns to Marta, an employee at his sock factory, with whom he has a prickly relationship.Written by
This droll, deadpan comedy from Uruguay, clearly influenced by directors such as Jarmusch and Kaurismaki, is a real find. Directors Rebella (who killed himself shortly after this film was released) and Stoll, tell the story of two middle aged Jewish brothers. The elder brother has remained in Uruguay, running a decrepit sock factory, and acts taciturn and resentful, feeling life has cheated on him. The younger, more easy going brother, has moved to Brazil, where he has raised a family and runs a successful textile factory in the Sao Paulo area. When their mother dies, the brother in Brazil returns to Uruguay for the funeral. So that his younger brother will not pity him, his older brethren asks a middle aged, somewhat plump employee to pretend to be with his wife when his brother returns (this plot point is not really very believable, but in the cinema you sort of accept it). There is little else plot wise to the movie, as the brothers and the fake wife tour some of the deserted, sunless beaches of Uruguay to kill time and to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with each other as well as to settle past scores. To those that thing South America is everywhere a tropical and exotic place, they might be surprised to see a movie that is somewhat reminiscent of the old Eastern Bloc movies (Uruguay is well to the south of the tropics, its climate is temperate, and is the least typically south American of Spanish speaking nations in the continent). In a way, this movie might be also be a metaphor of Uruguay, once a country that was called the Switzerland of South America for its democracy and progressivism, but that in the last few decades has seen nasty military dictatorships, and some of its infrastructure and social capital run down. Worth seeing and quite moving.
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