Historias mínimas


Historias mínimas
Carlos Sorín (Argentina)
2002, Guacamole/Nirvana/Wanda
92 min (Spanish with English subtitles)

LATAMROB rating: ***

AS IN Bombón el perro, the charming Historias mínimas (Minimal Stories) pays affectionate homage to the lost inhabitants of the beautiful, dry and desolated Patagonia. Responding again to his preference for using non-professional actors, Carlos Sorín has made a road movie about the crossing paths of three characters travelling to San Julian, a town of 9,000 people, declared an historical site in 1943 in memory of the first mass celebrated on Argentine territory after Magallanes disembarked with his crew there in 1520 but best remembered for its dramatic temperatures (37C to -12C). There is an old fellow, told by someone that there was a sighting of his lost dog, who decides to hitchhike in search of it without telling the family about his quest. There is a travelling salesman who is finding it hard to sell himself to a woman with whom he has fallen in love. And there is a young and poor mother who has won a prize on a TV programme and travels with her baby girl – and many tribulations – to the TV studio. Along the way, other minor characters appear and are threaded into this magical journey. By taking on the lives of the inhabitants of Patagonia and their lack of complication, Historias mínimas makes a refreshing change from other Argentine movies centred on the urban landscape of Buenos Aires. There is empathy with cheeky social commentary: epic journeys are really taken by simple people and, if you are looking for unity, it is TV (with Brazilian carnival, exercise shows and raunchy soaps) that really brings Argentines together. – GJ

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