Nacido y criado
Argentina, 2006, 100 minutes
Tue, May 8 / 06:15 / Kabuki / BORN08K
Wed, May 9 / 05:30 / Kabuki / BORN09K
Thu, May 10 / 09:00 / Kabuki / BORN10K
Pablo Trapero, whose use of nonprofessional actors has been a hallmark of his previous work, has changed tactics for Born and Bred. He cast a young veteran of TV melodrama, Guillermo Pfening, for this demanding character study in which the protagonist is in every scene. Pfening is brilliant in the role of Santiago, a highly successful interior designer who, with his wife and business partner Milli, lives in a pristine, ultramodern cocoon reminiscent of a spread in Metropolitan Home. Their small daughter perfectly complements their lives with her hugs and laughter. Yet Santiago always seems a bit distracted, as if all this perfection were too vast to be truly experienced. His picture-perfect life is soon shattered by a tragic car accident. Emotionally devastated, Santiago uproots himself into a self-imposed exile. He next finds himself in the barren landscape of southern Argentina, where even the snow is dirty. Having become a menial worker in a nearly abandoned airport at the end of the world, Santiago hangs out with coworkers and living companions who are usually drunk. Great sex with his beautiful wife has been replaced by sordid booze- and cocaine-fueled encounters with prostitutes. Santiago has hit bottom, and he struggles with the ghosts of his past to pull out of it. As in his other films, including Crane World (SFIFF 2000) and Rolling Family (SFIFF 2005), Trapero remains a master of introspection, contemplation and redemption, perfectly orchestrating spectacular visuals and the emotional development of his characters to reach a common-sense conclusion: Perhaps happiness is truly impossible without unhappiness.
West Coast Premiere. Sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.