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Now Playing: Foreign Language Films at the Theater, August 2010

Every month, Now Playing highlights some of the best foreign films currently playing at the theater. This month we’re running a special feature on the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. Since 2003, the excellent Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF) has provided audiences with the unique opportunity of viewing Spanish and Portuguese language films in Vancouver.

This year the VLAFF will take place from September 2nd through the 12th. You can view the festival’s lineup of 26 feature films here.

We’re providing you with plot synopses and trailers for three of the films screening at the VLAFF. Hopefully you can make your way to the festival to enjoy these films on the big screen!

Los Viajes del Viento

Director: Ciro Guerra, Language: Spanish, Country: Colombia
Thursday, September 2, 7 p.m. (Opening Night Gala)
Tuesday, September 7, 5 p.m.
Ignacio Carrillo traveled all his life throughout the villages and regions of northern Colombia, carrying music and traditional songs on his accordion, a legendary instrument that is said to be cursed, because it once belonged to the devil. As he became older, he got married and settled with his wife in a small town, leaving his nomadic life behind. When she suddenly dies, he decides to make one last journey to the Northern edge of the country, to return the accordion to the man who gave it to him, his teacher and mentor, so he will never play it again. On the way, he is joined by Fermin, a teenager who dreams of becoming a “juglar” like Ignacio, and to travel all around playing the accordion like he did. Tired of his loneliness, Ignacio accepts to be accompanied, and together they start the journey from Majagual, Sucre, to Taroa, beyond the Guajira desert, finding on the way the enormous diversity of the Caribbean culture and surviving all kinds of adventures. Ignacio will try to convince Fermin to take a different path in his life, having learned that his only led to solitude and sadness, but he will have to face the fact that destiny has different plans for him and his pupil. — Cannes Film Festival


Director: Javier Fuentes-Leon, Language: Spanish, Country: Peru
Saturday, September 4, 9:15 p.m.
Saturday, September 11, 3 p.m.
In a tiny Peruvian seaside village, where traditions run deep, Miguel (Cristian Mercado), a young fisherman, and his beautiful bride, Mariela (Tatiana Astengo), are about to welcome their first child. But Miguel harbors a scandalous secret. He’s in love with Santiago (Manolo Cardona), a painter, who is ostracized by the town because he’s gay. After a tragic accident occurs, Miguel must choose between sentencing Santiago to eternal torment or doing right by him and, in turn, revealing their relationship to Mariela and the entire village.

Written and directed by Javier Fuentes-Leon, and featuring a sizzling international cast, Contracorriente is rich in the details of legend, tradition, and locale; and it is in these details that the truth lies. Strikingly photographed to accentuate the majestic Peruvian coastline, this sexy, haunting love story transcends place and time. — Rodrigo Guerrero, Dynamo


Director: Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio, Language: Spanish, Country: Mexico
Thursday, September 9, 7 p.m. (Mexican Gala)
Jorge has only a few weeks with his five-year-old son Natan before he leaves to live with his mother in Rome. Intent on teaching Natan about their Mayan heritage, Jorge takes him to the pristine Chinchorro reef, and eases him into the rhythms of a fisherman’s life. As the bond between father and son grows stronger, Natan learns to live in harmony with life above and below the surface of the sea. — Film Movement

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