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There was a time, a shack with mud walls, where Tulio and Susana used to live, they thought the world was wide and strange. In Buenos Aires lives Clara, Tulio's sister, with her routines, her resentments and her daily companies. Until one day Don Ochoa appears and...Written by
Is 'Rancho aparte' a comedy? Yes, it is. A ridiculously funny movie to see. Is 'Rancho aparte' a drama? It also is. Will it make you cry? I don't think so, but 'Rancho aparte' will make you wonder who's right and who's not.
I'm really tired to watch Argentine movies based in Buenos Aires. Even movies located far away from the country's capital have a 'porteño' idiosyncrasy. I remember watching "La ciénaga", located in Salta but the main characters speaking in Buenos Aires' accent. 'Rancho aparte' is performed by Buenos Aires actors, but they took the basic courtesy of learning the accent of rural San Luis, a not-so-geographically-remote Argentine province. That simple detail is, for me, a great homage to the people the movie's characters represent. That's respect.
'Rancho aparte' features an almost unbearable crash between modern-urban life and the not-so-visible lives of those who live in extreme material poverty on the countryside, far away from comfort, technology and the public eye. We never hear of them in the news but for catastrophic rains, floods of draughts. We're never told who they are, and even then we share the same nationality. When you hear the term "argentino" in Buenos Aires media, you must understand "porteño", for being Argentine is a little more complex than that.
Having said that, this movie's point is to leave you wondering who's right when, in fact, they're both right and they're both wrong. Or maybe nobody has a definite answer: there's no need to be right or wrong all the time. The grey spots of life.
What would you think about someone who, being able to push a button and turn on a light bulb for the first time, prefers to stick to his old -but known to be a certain way to light up a room- candle? Would you think that person is an animal, would you say he is culturally behind you? The candle works for this man, why should he choose the light bulb, something he didn't know he needed? It's funny to see ancient empires documentaries: the luxury, the comfort, the pleasures of those big cities. They had no cars, no toilets, no mobile phones, no freezers, but they lived to the top of comfort of their time. Our grandsons will laugh and won't believe the uncomfortable way we currently live in... Who will be right then? Us or them?
'Rancho aparte' will, for the open-hearted, propose a chance to put things you now give for granted, at doubt. Should movies be able to change the world, this would be a good starting point towards cultural integration and common identity. We all share the basics, it's our environment what builds the differences.
The technical aspects are generally well crafted. Artistically, the performances are exquisite -especially so for the female characters. You don't need to know this movie is based on a theatrical play beforehand: you notice it just a few minutes after the beginning. Luckily, the language is not theatrical, what gives more credibility to the movie: you feel you're spying on them rather than sitting in front of a stage.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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