Andrés and his 12 year old son Pedro live in a violent neighborhood in Caracas, but they hardly see each other. One day, Andrés comes home and finds out that Pedro has gotten himself in serious trouble after hurting a boy in a fight.
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Andres (35) and his son Pedro (12) live in blue-collar neighborhood of Caracas and they hardly see each other. While Andres uses his time with his jobs, Pedro walks around the streets playing with his friends and learning from the violent place that surrounds him.
The Venezuelan drama "The family" has the characteristics that I most look for in a film in these years: brevity, transparency, a plot of interest, aesthetic dignity; design, planning and execution of accurate plans (example: the leading child takes a motorcycle ride, the camera follows the motorcycle that suddenly enters a tunnel and the cameraman, without stopping, lets motorcycle and passengers move away) , all of which transpires self-assurance, alternating still, fixed, observational shots, with vigorous, agile, electrical ones.
This is how the film begins: children in a poor Caracas neighborhood improvise a game, throwing on the wall what looks like a ball, they quarrel, play, shout, compete; the girls arrive, so begin the excitement, the "vacilón" (fun) and the erotic play (all of them not beyond 12), they escape to the roof, witness the city, the location of a drama that seems without truce. Pedro, the protagonist, is a child of the street, reckless and emboldened, who lives alone with Andrés, his father, a man poor in resources and imagination, who makes a living as a bricklayer, waiter and thief, who arrives with the sun to the apartment in the block, exhausted, with almost no exchange of dialogue or life with his son. There is never any mention of the absent mother, only a photo that Peter shows fleetingly or the mention of a pleasant memory. And suddenly, the scenario explodes: another neighborhood boy, gun in hand, tries to assault Pedro and his friend Johnny, and tragedy happens. They have to run away.
Andrés and Pedro's escape will trigger an adjustment of accounts, mutual understanding and the possible start of a somewhat happy stage in the lives of father and son. The child now knows death, knows his own potential for violence and takes the reins of their destinies, facing a father who seems already defeated in the daily battle to live, to survive, with dignity. Everything is said, but without psychological verbosity or analysis of the material dispossession of the great masses of Latin America. There is no need to delve into that: all of us who live in this space of the world know; and those who deny it or hide from it are hypocrites.
A beautiful portrait of paternal-filial love in which there is no room for tenderness, caress or terms of endearment, but that conveys the warmth of affection that, at least, the father feels for his child. An excellent opera prima, which I don't know if it's on Netflix or whatever, but if you can see it, please do, don't miss it. It is better than most of the L.A. stuff (I will not give up on this) that we are offered in cinemas.
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