THE TORONTO HISPANO-AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL Rating: NNN
The seventh annual Hispano-American Film Festival takes over the Bloor for nine days with 25 films from Latin America and Spain. Highlights include a spotlight on Argentina and a program of short films and docs by local Hispanic filmmakers.
The fest kicks off with Argentine director Alberto Lecchi's Arcibel's Game (El Juego De Arcibel), a quietly ironic drama about an apolitical journalist in the imaginary country of Miranda who becomes a political prisoner when his column on chess is misinterpreted as a political commentary.
Due to bureaucratic bungling, he spends the next 30-odd years in prison. While world events rage outside, he meditates, plays chess and invents a complicated game to teach his illiterate cellmate about military strategy, with unanticipated consequences. It's a gentle, absorbing and dryly witty film. (May 27-June 4, Bloor Cinema)