Memory House by João Paulo Miranda Maria and The Other Tom by Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo win the Art Cinema Award ex aequo at the Cinéma en Construction 37 Toulouse
The International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas is proud to announce that Memory House by João Paulo Miranda Maria and to El Otro Tom (The Other Tom) by Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo were tied for the Art Cinema Award at the Cinélatino – Cinéma En Construction 37 Toulouse.
Brasil, 2020, 89 minutes
Written and directed by: João Paulo Miranda Maria
Cast: Antonio Pitanga, Ana Flavia Cavalcanti, Sam Louwyck
Production: Paulo COSENZA (BOSSA NOVA FILMS) and Maneki Films
Cristovam, a native from the Brazilian hinterland, works in a milk factory in a former Austrian colony in Brazil. He feels lonely, ostracized by cultural and ethnic differences. One day, he discovers an abandoned house filled with objects that remind him of his origins. He slowly settles in this house. Curiously, more objects start to appear without explanation, as if the place was «alive».
Memory House is a complex and intense film that presents the cultural and social division of Brazil through an unexpected fantastic/supernatural genre. Since the beginning of the film, Cristovam’s story makes us feel connected to the ostracism and loneliness in which he lives in a small agrarian town in the south of Brazil. His alienation makes him take refuge in an old abandoned house in which memories emerge, taking him to his past but making him lose the connection with his present reality. The film, supported also with a great cinematography builds a storyline with unexpected twists that can’t leave the spectator indifferent. It’s also important to mention a great leading actor (Antonio Pitanga) that doesn’t need many dialogues to make us immerse ourselves deeply in the story. We consider that Joao Paulo Miranda is a young director that must be seen, he has created an imaginative and creative work that is a new turn on Latin American cinema.
El Otro Tom (The Other Tom)
Mexico, 2020, 110 minutes
Written and directed by: Rodrigo Plá et Laura Santullo
Cast: Julia Chávez (Elena), Israel Rodríguez (Tom)
Production: Buenaventura Producciones
Elena is a single mother and is dependent on social services. Her son, Tom, has behavioral difficulties and is stigmatized at school as a “problem child”. The father’s absence is part of the complicated bond between them. Tom will be diagnosed with “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” and treated for that condition. However, a freak accident will put his mother on guard against psychiatric medication. Her refusal to continue to give him medication will cause social services to threaten to remove him from custody.
Décision du jury :
The Other Tom (El Otro Tom) addresses a topic little discussed outside of the specialized fields, the diagnoses of ADHD and the treatment that health systems give to children considered “problematic”. The film finds a strong voice in its two main characters, on one hand, Elena, a young single mother that depends on social services and who has a complicated relationship with her son, and on the other hand Tom (represented by a great performance) a child of 10 years who is stigmatized for his behaviour at school and at home. After an event that changes the direction of the film, Elena rebels against the system and at this point the film transforms into a story charged with humanity, it allows the viewer to accompany these two characters who are “at the margin of the system ”in their path of accepting each other. For these reasons we consider that “El Otro Tom” has a well-developed script that presents a difficult subject with great strength and is also supported by a beautiful photography that connects you with the location of the film. We believe that this is a work that should definitely reach the cinemas.