Posted: August 18, 2010 in Film Showcase

Welcome to the first Peruvian film showcase in New York City, celebrating the exhilarating journey of fifty years of Peruvian cinema in honor of the Peruvian director Armando Robles Godoy for his contribution to the development and success of modern Peruvian cinema. This first show was curated and organized by the photographer and filmmaker Lorry Salcedo Mitrani with the collaboration of the Consulate General of Peru in New York and the generous support of Mrs. Martha Meier Miro Quesada.

Additional support has been received from LAN Peru airlines, the Center for American Studies (CEA) and Docuperu. This selection of 11 successful films in the last fifty years (documentaries, shorts and fiction lengths) shows the creative, ethnographic and geographic diversity of our culture and consequently of the cinematographic art in Peru.

Armando Robles Godoy (b. New York 1923, later naturalized Peruvian) writer and filmmaker, was the son of one of the great musical composer of Peru, Daniel Alomias Robles (composer of the famous song El Condor Pasa). He is the initiator of independent art film (cinema de autor) in Peru and considered a film director of singular integrity and testimonial boldness. Mr. Robles Godoy wrote and directed: Ganarás el pan, 1965); En la selva no hay estrellas, 1967 (winner of the International Moscow film festival);  La muralla verde, 1970 (winner of the Gold Hugo in the International Chicago film festival and awarded in the festivals of New York, Barcelona, Osaka and Puerto Rico);  Espejismo, 1972 (nominated for the Oscar for the best foreign film, winner of the Gold Hugo of the International Chicago film festival and awarded in the festivals of Barcelona, Cadiz and Cartagena);  Sonata Soledad, 1987;  Imposible amor , 2001; El Cementerio de los elefantes, 1973 (winner of the Silver Hugo in the International Chicago film festival). Mr. Godoy ran his own school of cinema, mentoring several generations of Peruvian filmmakers. He also was a successful writer, with 3 short stories, 3 novels and many theater pieces. He is, after all, the Peruvian filmmaker who has won the most literary prizes as well as being the Peruvian writer who has won the most cinematographic prizes.

Film Program

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Film Showcase

September 1, 2010. VIP, ONLY WITH INVITATION

6- 7 pm: “The Fire Within” (El Fuego Eterno)
Documentary by Lorry Salcedo Mitrani / 2008 / 57 min. English dialogue with Spanish subtitles

This film is about a unique, little-known episode in the history of the Amazon and the Jewish history of the Diaspora. It tells the story of a Jewish community in Iquitos, an isolated Peruvian city in the Amazon jungles.  Jewish men came during the late 19th century from Morocco during the rubber boom and married Amazonian women. The documentary makes us aware of a most surprising human legacy of this migration: those called “Judios Mestizos”, descendants of Jewish fathers and native mothers scattered throughout the Amazon who created their own syncretic Jewish tradition. The Fire Within shows us the process of conversion of a group of them, desirous of migrating to Israel to embrace the faith and the culture of their ancestors.

7- 9:15 pm: “The Green Wall”  & Homage to Mr. Armando Robles Godoy (La Muralla Verde)
Fiction length by Armando Robles Godoy / 1970 / 110 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles
(Film presentation by Lorry Salcedo Mitrani)

Based on the filmmaker Armando Robles Godoy’s own experience of home steadying in the Peruvian jungle. The Green Wall is “a bitter and beautiful movie” in which Godoy translates his experience into film poetry rather than flat reportage and uses the physical environment (exquisitely photographed by his cameraman brother, Mario) as a great natural mystery. Idyllic but cruel, rich but unyielding to the will of a handsome young settler (Mexican star Julio Aleman, in a vibrant performance) who is determined to survive there with his family. The hero’s relationship with his wife and child…..are established in an eloquent opening sequence –when a torrential downpour tells the young parents that today they can do nothing better than lie abed and make love, at least until the boy wakes up …(Pauline Kael, The New Yorker).

September 8, 2010
(Films presentation by Ana de Orbegoso)

6 – 7:10 pm: “Sax Country” (El Pais de los Saxos)
Documentary by Sonia Goldenberg / 2007 / 70 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

SAX COUNTRY introduces us into the world of sax musicians in the Central Andes of Peru, who adopted an instrument often associated with blues, jazz and rock and roll to express the deepest feelings of their native mountains. The documentary contrasts the spirit of the fiesta with the hardships of a musicians’ daily life and confronts the fascination for New York in the heart of the Andes with the painful reality of exile.

7:20 – 7:45 pm: “Clowns” (Payasos)
Fiction short  by Marianela Vega / 2009 / 23 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

After the death of his father, a young journalist in the city of Lima hides in the world of street clowns. Based on the short story City of Clowns by writer Daniel Alarcón.

8- 9:30 pm: “The Vigil” (La Vigilia)
Fiction length by Augusto Tamayo / 2010 / 90 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

This is a thriller film that tells the story of the relation established between two opposite characters that share an intense and strange night in today’s Lima. Edgardo Chocano, a westernized Peruvian intellectual of upper class and a violent and instinctive girl of the lower class that is escaping the threat of a gang of criminals. It is main theme deals with the possibility of an understanding between this two contradicting characters.

September 15, 2010
(Films presentation by Linda Villarosa)

6 – 7:20 pm: “Metal and Melancholy” (Metal y Melancolia)
Documentary by Heddy Honigman / 1992 / 90 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

In the early 1990s, in response to Peru’s inflationary economy and a government destabilized by corruption and Shining Path terrorism, many middle-class professionals used their own cars to moonlight as taxi drivers in order to weather the financial crisis. METAL AND MELANCHOLY learns how these part-time cabbies, including a teacher, a Ministry of Justice employee, a film actor, and a policeman, among others, manage to navigate through Lima’s congested, pothole-filled streets in dilapidated cars whose survival techniques are as fascinating as those of their owners.

7:30 – 7:40 pm: “Ela”
Fiction short  by Silvana Aguirre / 2007 / 12 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

We meet 8-year old Ela in a very particular moment of her life. The moment she experiences loss for the first time.

7:50 – 9:20 pm: “Undertow” (Contracorriente)


Fiction length by Javier Fuentes Leon / 2009 / 90 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

Miguel is a fisherman in a tiny Peruvian village where traditions run deep. He is married to the lovely Mariela and about to be a father, but has a secret love affair with Santiago, 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.

September 29, 2010
(Films presentation by Robin Cembalest)

Francisco Lombardi in person & closing reception!

6 – 6:55 pm: “Hands of God” (Las Manos de Dios)
Documentary by Delia Ackerman / 2004 / 54 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

Julio  “Chocolate” Algendones Farfán was a percussionist, one of the most important interpreters of Afro-Peruvian Folk Music, and a worldwide jazz musician. Considered the master of the Peruvian cajón, he was internationally renown. Afro-Peruvian music has its roots in Africa. The Africans who arrived in Latin America created a new identity together with the locals, which reflected a cultural mixture that gave birth to a new esthetic heritage. Chocolate’s music represents the richness of this mixture.

7:05 – 7:25 pm: “Porter” (Solo un Cargador)
Documentary short by Juan Alejandro Ramirez / 2003 / 20 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

A darker, more troubling, but no less transcendent philosophical exercise came in the form of a short about Peruvian porters who carry tourists’ luggage up and down the Andes. Or rather, PORTER, by Juan Alejandro Ramirez, is about one fictionalized cargador, brought to life in an uncannily penetrating first-person voiceover constructed by Ramirez from various accounts by these peasant laborers.

7:35 – 9: 30 pm: “Pantaleon and the Visitors” (Pantaleon y las Visitadoras)
Fiction length by Francisco Lombardi / 1999 / 114 min. Spanish dialogue with English subtitles

Pantaleon and the Visitors narrates the story of Capitan Pantaleon Pantoja, a military man that enjoys a happy marriage, who is honest, hard-working, righteous, methodic and high. Capitan Pantoja takes over a mission that requires absolute discretion: he has to supply “call girls” (visitadoras) to the troops posted in the Amazon jungle, in order to relieve their hot tempers and therefore avoid the common violation of rules in the area. Based on the novel Pantaleon y Las Visitadoras by writer Mario Vargas Llosa.