The Latin American House’s Cine Forum screened Argentina’s El hijo de la novia

Jan 29, 2014 Comments Off on The Latin American House’s Cine Forum screened Argentina’s El hijo de la novia by

Last Thursday, the Latin American House’s Cine Forum screened Argentina’s El hijo de la novia. The room was absolutely filled to watch this Argentine cinematic hit. El hijo de la novia is a coming-of-age movie which follows Rafael, a 42 year old fast-talking restaurateur and divorced dad, with a mobile phone surgically attached to his ear. Rafael has struggled since childhood to prove himself, and now that it appears he has finally made it, he cannot show off his professional success to the one person he most desperately wants to wow: his mother.


Following the theme of memory, the Cine Forum picked a film which tackles Alzheimer’s disease. The debate was not therefore articulated around the Argentine economic crisis of the turn of the century (although the film does plunge us within this cultural context) but rather around the effects of dementia. Everyone in the audience agreed that the film navigates the fine line between comedy and tragedy (following in the footsteps of the Argentine’s theatrical tradition of the grotesco criollo). Indeed, even though filled with many extremely humorous situations, the film also portrays (quite realistically) a very harsh illness. A moving testimony from a member of the audience (who underwent with a parent a similar experience as the one portrayed in the film) reminded us that Alzheimer is a very unsettling disease which causes whoever suffers from it to let go of  his/her inhibitions. The audience present that night debated how the film depicts the subtle game between reality and fantasy. Indeed, according to our audience, there appears to be a fine line between what we perceive as mental well-being and mental disorder. What can we interpret as the dividing line? Maybe our Argentine brothers are more suited to answer this particular question, judging by the popularity of psychoanalysis in Argentina (the country has the distinction of being home to more psychologists per capita than anywhere else in the world).

El hijo de la novia is a fresh, funny and perceptive picture about people and their problems. It’s sweet, romantic and proves that it is never too late to learn.


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