4 Latin American Films Receive Awards in Cannes Film Festival

This year’s Cannes Film Festival saw films from Brazil, Chile, and Guatemala receiving multiple awards as they discussed political and social issues related to historical events. 

A documentary by Chilean director Patricio Guzman won the prize for best documentary. “La cordillera de los sueños” (The Mountain Range of Dreams) is a documentary about the recent history of the country and childhood memories of the narrator, i.e., the director himself.

The documentary talks about the 1973 coup d’état carried out by Augusto Pinochet, as well as the repression during the dictatorship.

With this documentary, Guzman finished the trilogy that began with “Nostalgia de la Luz” (Nostalgic for the Light 2010) and “El botón de nácar” (The Pearl Button 2015).

Guzman left Chile when Pinochet came to power and lived in exile for the past 40 years.

Guzman’s film shared the prestigious L’oeil d’Or award with the film “For Sama” by Waad al Kataeb and Edward Watts.

“The Chilean Patricio Guzmán won the “L’oeil d’Or” award for the best documentary for “The Cordillera de los Sueños”, in this film he tackles the Chile of his childhood and the current, with the focus also on the years of the military dictatorship.”

At the closing ceremony of the prestigious film festival held in France, “Bacurau”, a film by Brazilian filmmakers Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles won the jury prize.

The two Brazilian directors received the recognition and dedicated it to their country, as well as to all the workers of science, education, and culture, at a time when the Brazilian government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is attempting to clamp down on social sciences in public education. 

Another Brazilian film by director Karim Ainouz, “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao”, a tale of two sisters and their struggles in a male-dominated society in 1950s-era Brazil, won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, which aims to shine a light on more unusual movies.

Guatemalan film “Nuestros Madres” (“Our Mothers”) by Cesar Diaz won the prize of the Society of Authors and Dramatic Composers (SACD) of the Critics’ Week, a parallel section.

Diaz highlights the massacres of Indigenous Mayan population. The function film tells the story of a young researcher trying to identify the victims buried in mass graves during the 1960 -1966 civil war in Guatemala which left 200,000 dead or disappeared.

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