×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Yatasto

Solid reception in Buenos Aires for 'Yatasto' augers good things on what looks like a long and worthy fest trip.

With:
With: Bebo, Pata, Ricardo, Chinina, Canario, Damaris.

A fine example of a filmmaker’s engagement with his material, documaker Hermes Paralluelo’s debut feature, “Yatasto,” communes with an extended family that survives by recycling refuse on the fringes of the northern Argentine city of Cordoba. Pic’s politically incorrect sentiments focus on the day-to-day activities, occasionally absurd moments and dreams of a trio of young boys who doggedly labor to help their brood. Solid reception in Buenos Aires augurs good things on what looks like a long and worthy fest trip.

Barcelona-born Paralleulo’s previous, visually impressive short, “Sugarloaf,” was concerned with the solitary existence of the last man at a defunct mining operation. “Yatasto” embraces an entirely different tone and perspective: Here, attention is paid to an extended family group, centered on teen and pre-teen cousins Bebo, Pata and Ricardo, the last of whom boldly announces to the older two kids that he’s “interested in cash.”

And indeed, cash is what the boys’ efforts are all about. Supported by Bebo’s grandmother Chinina, his uncle Canario and his mom, the youths are expected to scrounge through trash and others’ leftovers, and lug them via horse-drawn cart to a Cordoba recycler. Paralluelo, with his script and lensing partner Ezequiel Salinas, builds the film on sustained sequences in which his camera sits on the cart, gazing at the boys (or whomever is driving it), producing magnificent reverse tracking shots through Cordoba’s streets and boulevards.

These aren’t merely elegant pieces of documentary filmmaking, but glimpses into what cinema seldom grasps: the real lives of the poor. It turns out that they can be quite funny, as when Chinina chides Bebo for his careless driving, and they end up having a huge box of items fall off the cart and get strewn all over the street behind them.

Punctuating such sections are well-judged scenes around the families’ homes, where the boys muse on their lives and the horses on whom everything depends. Ricardo dreams of being a jockey, while Beto already seems to be leading the business in lieu of any responsible father figures, most of whom are generally drunk and useless. The title refers to a passing reference to a desirable horse housed some distance from where the families live — an unobtainable object just out of grasp.

On a low budget, production elements are excellent, but never too slick to mar the verite intentions behind the filmmaking, which is more than a little influenced by Pedro Costa’s films set in the Lisbon slums, including “In Vanda’s Room.”

Yatasto

Argentina

Production: A Cine El Calefon presentation. Produced by Juan C. Maristany. Directed by Hermes Paralluelo. Screenplay, Paralluelo, Jimena Gonzalez Gomeza, Ezequiel Salinas.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Salinas, Paralluelo; editors, Paralluelo, Salinas. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Film Festival (competing), April 9, 2011. Running time: 99 MIN.

With: With: Bebo, Pata, Ricardo, Chinina, Canario, Damaris.

More Film

  • Aniara review

    Film Review: 'Aniara'

    Each year brings an example or three of purported “thinking person’s science-fiction” films, a category that pretty much embraces anything not centered on monsters or lightsaber battles. These efforts are often more admirable in theory than result, but “Aniara” — the first film drawn from Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet Harry Martinson’s 1956 cycle of 103 [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    It’s been a long year for Marvel fans since the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” but the wait is nearly over. The finale to the Infinity Saga is here, and while most diehard fans will know to avoid them for fear of spoilers, early reviews are mostly positive. Last year’s “Infinity War” took home an [...]

  • American Made

    'American Made' Plane Crash Lawsuits End in Settlement

    The producers of the Tom Cruise film “American Made” have settled all litigation surrounding a 2015 plane crash in Colombia that killed two pilots. The settlement resolves pending suits in both California and Georgia. A notice of settlement was filed in Santa Monica Superior Court on Monday. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Film Review: 'Avengers: Endgame'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following review contains mild spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.” The culmination of 10 years and more than twice as many movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Avengers: Endgame” promises closure where its predecessor, “Avengers: Infinity War,” sowed chaos. That film — which revealed that the cookie-cutter uniformity of all those MCU movies had [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame': Why a $300 Million Opening Could Be Impossible

    “Avengers: Endgame” is preparing for a staggering debut between $250 million and $268 million in North America alone. Unprecedented anticipation surrounding the Marvel juggernaut has some particularly optimistic box office watchers tossing around even higher numbers, estimating the superhero tentpole could clear nearly $300 million in ticket sales in its first three days. If any film [...]

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Nightmare Alley

    Leonardo DiCaprio in Talks to Star in Guillermo del Toro's 'Nightmare Alley' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Leonardo DiCaprio is in negotiations to star in Fox Searchlight’s “Nightmare Alley,” Guillermo del Toro’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning film “The Shape of Water.” Del Toro will direct the pic and co-wrote the script with Kim Morgan. “Nightmare Alley” is being produced and financed by del Toro and J. Miles Dale with TSG Entertainment, with [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck to Star in and Direct World War II Caper 'Ghost Army'

    Ben Affleck will star in and direct the Universal Pictures caper “Ghost Army,” based on the book “The Ghost Army of World War II,” written by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles, as well as the documentary “Ghost Army.” It’s unclear when the movie will go into production as it’s still in development and Affleck is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content