Thursday, October 06, 2005

Movie review: de la Calle a.k.a. the Streeters.

What they say:
Authentic and committed, moving and stormy drama of street kids from Mexico City. Wonderful adaptation of successful play about street kids who have more trouble with corrupt cops, than with dirty and heavy work.

What I say:
a daring guest at any North American film festival for its supposedly 'authentic' portrayal of the destitute this movie reminded of an old Soviet cinematographic phenomenon - chernukha. This was a short-lived genre that came to define late Soviet early Russian cinema.
One American movie critic defined it as
"a display of visceral excess that emphasizes with graphic naturalism and hermetic pessimism Russia's social ills and historical abscesses."

I tend to agree but would like to make one important qualification. The squalor it portrayed became the end rather a means of artistic expression. Much in the same vein, the Jerry Springer Show exploits real lives' stories to provide bizzare, perverse entertainment.
So the flick was an example of Mexican 'chernukha' - holes rigged plot, somewhat undeveloped characters and the intentionally gloom, to the point of getting revolting portrayal of the life of Mexico's underworld.
Final verdict: not too bad, but could be much better.


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