You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Faith of the Volcano

The most complex and densely written of the new Argentine films at the Buenos Aires fest, Ana Poliak's "The Faith of the Volcano" chronicles the touching friendship between two of society's outcasts, an alienated young girl and a disillusioned knife sharpener, to suggest the political repression and injustice of the country's recent history.

Cast:
With: Monica Donay, Jorge Prado.

The most complex and densely written of the new Argentine films at the Buenos Aires fest, Ana Poliak’s “The Faith of the Volcano” chronicles the touching friendship between two of society’s outcasts, an alienated young girl and a disillusioned knife sharpener, to suggest the political repression and injustice of the country’s recent history. World premiered at the Rotterdam fest, this disturbing, atmospheric film shot on a shoestring should attract further fest attention, though its downbeat, thought-provoking tone may make it a difficult sale commercially.

Considered a kind of sequel to Poliak’s feature-length docu, “Que vivan los crotos!,” pic announces its serious intentions from the opening shots of a young woman contemplating suicide. Her insensitive mother comments that suddenly she discovered the girl had a volcano inside her.

This is the prelude’s only link to Anita (Monica Donay), a quiet girl who may be 12 or 13, eking out a living cleaning a beauty parlor. Her infectious smile is brought out in a chance encounter with Danilo (Jorge Prado), a middle-aged man who grinds knives on his bicycle. A born actor, Danilo amuses the girl with his anecdotes, but behind his nonstop chatter lies a profound distrust of his country and its history, specifically the period of the desapareceidos (political arrests and executions).

Danilo claims to be the son of a torturer. How can we walk among corpses, he demands, cynically ignoring the lingering stench? Through their casual meetings, he tries to stimulate Anita’s seemingly dead imagination and bring out her hidden intensity.

Pic’s long closing sequence shows Anita walking along a highway under construction. Open-ended as it is, it suggests Danilo has moved something inside her and that one somehow must have faith in the future.

In her mute sadness, the young Doney is an intense screen presence, while Prado is a tour-de-force of articulated human anguish. Raw, heartfelt camera work from co-scripter Willi Behnisch is edited into images of characters, cityscapes and stolen documentary shots that sometimes are just a jumble, sometimes work. Poliak accompanies these images with carefully selected sounds, rather than music.

The Faith of the Volcano

Argentina

Production: A Viada Producciones production. (International sales: Viades, Buenos Aires.) Directed by Ana Poliak. Screenplay, Willi Behnisch, Poliak.

Crew: Camera (color, video to 35mm), Behnisch; editor, Poliak; sound, Luis Corazza. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Independent Cinema Festival, April 21, 2001. (Also in Rotterdam Film Festival, Hubert Bals Fund Harvest.) Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Monica Donay, Jorge Prado.

More Film

  • Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment Variety Cover

    Judgment Day: Harvey Weinstein Scandal Could Finally Change Hollywood's Culture of Secrecy

    The most complex and densely written of the new Argentine films at the Buenos Aires fest, Ana Poliak’s “The Faith of the Volcano” chronicles the touching friendship between two of society’s outcasts, an alienated young girl and a disillusioned knife sharpener, to suggest the political repression and injustice of the country’s recent history. World premiered […]

  • 'Angels Wear White' to Open Singapore

    'Angels Wear White' to Open Singapore Film Festival

    The most complex and densely written of the new Argentine films at the Buenos Aires fest, Ana Poliak’s “The Faith of the Volcano” chronicles the touching friendship between two of society’s outcasts, an alienated young girl and a disillusioned knife sharpener, to suggest the political repression and injustice of the country’s recent history. World premiered […]

  • Ricardo Darín, Patagonik, Disney Set Juan

    Mipcom: New Ricardo Darin Production Co Teams with Patagonik, Disney, FilmSharks on Juan Vera’s ‘Love at Last Sight’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    The most complex and densely written of the new Argentine films at the Buenos Aires fest, Ana Poliak’s “The Faith of the Volcano” chronicles the touching friendship between two of society’s outcasts, an alienated young girl and a disillusioned knife sharpener, to suggest the political repression and injustice of the country’s recent history. World premiered […]

  • Busan: Director Chowdhury Sets 'Rickshaw Girl'

    Busan: Director Chowdhury Sets 'Rickshaw Girl' for March Shoot

    The most complex and densely written of the new Argentine films at the Buenos Aires fest, Ana Poliak’s “The Faith of the Volcano” chronicles the touching friendship between two of society’s outcasts, an alienated young girl and a disillusioned knife sharpener, to suggest the political repression and injustice of the country’s recent history. World premiered […]

  • Mipcom; Wings Media Signs 10-Film Deal

    Mipcom: Wings Media Signs 10-Film Deal With Shellhut, Tiny Island

    The most complex and densely written of the new Argentine films at the Buenos Aires fest, Ana Poliak’s “The Faith of the Volcano” chronicles the touching friendship between two of society’s outcasts, an alienated young girl and a disillusioned knife sharpener, to suggest the political repression and injustice of the country’s recent history. World premiered […]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg Hand Imprint Ceremony

    Jeffrey Katzenberg: Harvey Weinstein Is a Monster, But Didn't Act Alone

    The most complex and densely written of the new Argentine films at the Buenos Aires fest, Ana Poliak’s “The Faith of the Volcano” chronicles the touching friendship between two of society’s outcasts, an alienated young girl and a disillusioned knife sharpener, to suggest the political repression and injustice of the country’s recent history. World premiered […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content