La Cerca (The Fence) (Ruben Mendoza) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Although its offputting slogan, "Where academia meets carnival," is redolent of dismal wine-and-cheeses in fluorescent-lit faculty lounges, AluCine appears, in fact, to be all about smart, pithy, challenging shorts, discount admissions for the demonstrably broke and hot music in swanky watering holes.
Now in its sixth year, the Spanish-language fest (April 29 to May 7) presents nearly 200 films from 20 countries. A spotlight on Colombia includes Ruben Mendoza's Cannes-bound La Cerca (The Fence) (May 7, 8 pm, Innis Town Hall), an unflinching and uncanny tussle with the question of what to do with a violent past.
On New Year's Eve, Francisco is having trouble distinguishing dreams of murdering his father, a former thug, from reality; a deadline for reconciliation, imposed by his dead mother, looms. As Francisco shifts seamlessly from dreams to awareness to drunkenness and back again, his story becomes a political allegory so personal it's almost unconscious.
For full festival listings see AluCine, this page.