Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This ain't no Ricky Martin

One film that I hope gets at least a DVD release is a joint Spanish-French-Mexican production, "La Vida Loca." This is definitely a film to see. Claustrophobic and at times feeling like a fever dream, it shows that sometimes reality is so intense that you have no choice but to stand back and just film it (handheld).

The trailer can be seen here. It is worth watching. It conveys only a bit of the film's intensity. This film has the sustained intensity that I had hoped "Made in America" would have.

I felt as if I'd been hit in the head with a brick by the time I finished watching this film. It documents the life (it sounds strange calling it that in this instance) in El Salvador of members of the Mara 18 gang and their warfare with Mara Salvatrucha (13). Names sound familiar? That's because the gangs were formed in Los Angeles (18th Street and 13th Street) and exported in a big way back to El Salvador (and elsewhere in Central America) with the massive deportations of gang members from the U.S. in the past decade. It's a dubious cultural export, indeed. The cultural mirror created by this powerful film makes me ache for all the dead, the innocent victims and destroyed lives in both the U.S. and El Salvador. And, to wonder why we are willing to accept as normal the astonishingly high level of violence in our society.

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