award-winning Señor Rasquin, shown at left, has been able in this sturdy little movie to give us life -- in all its complicated beauty and terror -- in the barrios of Venezuela. He shows us (with very little "telling") via his complicated, intertwined plot, how family, sport, drugs and crime are inextricably connected, to the point where, it seems, you can't choose one or two of these without the rest tagging along.
Likewise the feelings the movie engenders, both in its characters and us viewers. These are complicated, too, never more so than in a series of ugly incidents, as one bad thing leads to the next and the next and finally to a kind of mini-holocaust that is simply horrific and all too believable. Drugs, murder, betrayal; help, love, sacrifice -- they're all on display here, often even within the same person at various times.
futbol above all else (except family): Julio, the old, bigger and brawnier (gorgeous newcomer Eliú Armas, above, right) is a stronger but less talented player than the younger Daniel (Fernando Moreno, above, left), but both play together so well that Daniel insists that their duo not be broken up -- even when he is recruited by the Caracas Futbol Club.
Music Box Films and running 97 minutes, opens today, all across the country. Click here and then click on THEATERS (just below the film's title) to see all currently scheduled playdates with cities and theaters.