7 Boxes: Living with cell phones in Paraguay

17 11 2014

7 Boxes

For Sound on Sight:

Even within Latin America, Paraguayan cinema does not exactly dominate the cultural conversation and, sadly, remains something of a mystery. In fact, outside of Argentina, Brazil, and maybe Chile, the rest of South America, in cinematic terms, is mostly uncharted territory (which is not to say no movies are made there, but rather that international audiences, even open-minded cinephiles, don’t know much about them). With this in mind, the breakaway success of 7 Boxes, by Tana Schémbori and Juan Carlos Maneglia, is startling. Since premiering in 2012, it has nabbed prizes in San Sebastian and Mar del Plata; has featured in film festivals in Mexico, Cuba, Sweden, Canada, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic; and has earned critical accolades wherever it has been shown. It is also the highest grossing Paraguayan movie of all time. Nevertheless, it still took two years to reach North American art houses, and it only recently opened in a handful of screens in Argentina, which neighbors Paraguay.

7 Boxes, in this age of sequels and franchises, is like Hollywood done right, except outside of Hollywood. Although, in many countries, it has been relegated to the festival circuit and has received a limited release, this is a formally conventional and fast-paced affair, featuring energetic handheld camerawork and an aesthetics of clutter, which, as in City of God or the more sophisticated Portuguese works of Pedro Costa, emphasizes the lived-in texture of poverty. Although it has plenty of violence, 7 Boxes is never solemn or sensational, allowing sudden and even surreal intrusions of humor to relieve the tension and bloodiness. Any movie of this sort risks suggesting that its humble characters know only hunger and crime, and though it would be false to say that 7 Boxes entirely avoids this pitfall, its protagonists do seem to enjoy a broad panoply of emotions, love and camaraderie, dreams and pure adrenaline, as they also interact creatively with technology.

Keep reading.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Panorama Mundial de historia y actualidad

Análisis de la Política Internacional

Thoughts on the Asian Stage

A collection of my posts on Asian cinemas, arts, and entertainments.

La Biblia de los Pobres

Reflexiones en torno a la imagen

Fanboy Cave

Cine, Literatura, Videojuegos, Comics y Música

%d bloggers like this: