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Become a Stall Holder

The people, products and politics of one of the world's great street markets is explored in the powerful, involving "Become a Stall Holder."

The people, products and politics of one of the world’s great street markets is explored in the powerful, involving “Become a Stall Holder,” whose tight focus nonetheless sheds light on bigger issues. Buenos Aires’ La Salada market is an entire alternative economy in a nation famed for its financial wobbliness; docu examines the market’s struggle for survival against political opposition, and celebrates its existence — as it shifts vast quantities of pirated products throughout the night — while implicitly wondering why it should have to exist at all. Politically themed fest sidebars could show interest in “Stallholder’s” wares.

Early scenes recount the area’s history before moving on to the politics, as the stallholders negotiate their survival in the face of plans to build a road through the site. The lengthy middle sections beautifully convey the combination of chaos and organization at La Salada’s heart. Wisely, d’Angiolillo eschews voiceover to suspend judgment, a decision that generates confusion early on but generates immediacy. Editing is fluid, though several minutes showing the manufacturing of wares could have been cut. Pablo Chimenti and Hernan Kerllenevich’s magnificent sound work deserves mention; other tech aspects are fine.

Become a Stall Holder

Docu - -Argentina

Production: A Magoya Films production. (International sales: El Nuevo Municipio, Buenos Aires.) Produced by Julian d'Angiolillo. Executive producer, Sebastian Schindel. Directed, written by Julian d'Angiolillo.

Crew: Camera (color), Matias Iaccarino; editor, Lautaro Colace. Reviewed on DVD, Malaga, Spain April 24, 2010. (In Buenos Aires Film Festival.) Original title: Hacerme feriante. Running time: 94 MIN.

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