You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

In Paraguay

"In Paraguay" feels atypically passive -- a homemovie whose shape and substance are devoid of the helmer's familiar wry commentary.

Cast:
With: Ross McElwee, Marilyn McElwee, Adrian McElwee, Mariah McElwee.

Compared to Ross McElwee’s capriciously constructed meditations on topics such as women, the news, Hollywood and the Civil War, “In Paraguay” feels atypically passive — a homemovie whose shape and substance are devoid of the helmer’s familiar wry commentary. Having decided to adopt a Paraguayan infant girl named Mariah, McElwee, his wife, Marilyn, and their 5-year-old son, Adrian, hie off to South America. Their sometimes engaging Latin American odyssey, composed equally of curiosity and unease, nevertheless registers as minor McElwee.

Helmer’s joyous impudence is subdued by his first exploration of abject poverty, so much so that even the intricacies of Latin American bureaucracy fail to engage his satiric imagination. Plunging into Paraguayan history, he discovers dictators have managed to screw up the country quite nicely — meting out torture and oppression — with only moderate help from Uncle Sam. McElwee’s leftist guilt/outrage has little to sink its teeth into. Ultimately, he’s stuck with his own family to serve as his cast, his plot and even his future viewing public (when he shows Mariah from whence she came).

In Paraguay

Production: A Homemade Movies production. Produced, directed, written by Ross McElwee.

Crew: Camera (color, 16mm), McElwee; editors, Julie Mallozzi, McElwee; music, Augistin Barrios. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Horizons), Sept. 1, 2008. English, Spanish dialogue. Running time: 76 MIN.

With: With: Ross McElwee, Marilyn McElwee, Adrian McElwee, Mariah McElwee.

More Film

  • 'Golden Dawn Girls' Review: A Grim,

    IDFA Film Review: 'Golden Dawn Girls'

    Compared to Ross McElwee’s capriciously constructed meditations on topics such as women, the news, Hollywood and the Civil War, “In Paraguay” feels atypically passive — a homemovie whose shape and substance are devoid of the helmer’s familiar wry commentary. Having decided to adopt a Paraguayan infant girl named Mariah, McElwee, his wife, Marilyn, and their […]

  • IDFA: Profile of IDFA’s Bertha Fund

    IDFA: The Bertha Fund At 20 – ‘Bringing In New Voices, Other Stories’

    Compared to Ross McElwee’s capriciously constructed meditations on topics such as women, the news, Hollywood and the Civil War, “In Paraguay” feels atypically passive — a homemovie whose shape and substance are devoid of the helmer’s familiar wry commentary. Having decided to adopt a Paraguayan infant girl named Mariah, McElwee, his wife, Marilyn, and their […]

  • IDFA: Håvard Bustnes On ‘Golden Dawn

    IDFA Golden Dawn Girls Director Håvard Bustnes, ‘The Far Right Movement Is Marching Again’

    Compared to Ross McElwee’s capriciously constructed meditations on topics such as women, the news, Hollywood and the Civil War, “In Paraguay” feels atypically passive — a homemovie whose shape and substance are devoid of the helmer’s familiar wry commentary. Having decided to adopt a Paraguayan infant girl named Mariah, McElwee, his wife, Marilyn, and their […]

  • Justice League

    Korea Box Office: 'Justice League' on Top as Foreign Films Dominate

    Compared to Ross McElwee’s capriciously constructed meditations on topics such as women, the news, Hollywood and the Civil War, “In Paraguay” feels atypically passive — a homemovie whose shape and substance are devoid of the helmer’s familiar wry commentary. Having decided to adopt a Paraguayan infant girl named Mariah, McElwee, his wife, Marilyn, and their […]

  • Amsterdam, 19 november 2009.IDFA 2009.Caspar Sonnen.Foto

    IDFA DocLab’s Caspar Sonnen: ‘We Can No Longer Just Blame Technology For Everything’

    Compared to Ross McElwee’s capriciously constructed meditations on topics such as women, the news, Hollywood and the Civil War, “In Paraguay” feels atypically passive — a homemovie whose shape and substance are devoid of the helmer’s familiar wry commentary. Having decided to adopt a Paraguayan infant girl named Mariah, McElwee, his wife, Marilyn, and their […]

  • Charles Manson Hospitalized

    Charles Manson Dies at 83

    Compared to Ross McElwee’s capriciously constructed meditations on topics such as women, the news, Hollywood and the Civil War, “In Paraguay” feels atypically passive — a homemovie whose shape and substance are devoid of the helmer’s familiar wry commentary. Having decided to adopt a Paraguayan infant girl named Mariah, McElwee, his wife, Marilyn, and their […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content