Spanish and Latin American Films at Glasgow Film Festival 19′

19th February 2019


Glasgow Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday and once again Scotland’s biggest film event for cinephiles include a whole lot of Latin American flavour in its 2019 edition.

For us it means an annual catch-up with the absolute musts of European Cinema such as Happy as Lazzaro, Girl or The Sisters Brothers but also a great festival for original events, from cult classics to special screening in secret venues, once again Glasgow Film Festival deserves big praises for bringing the best of international cinema as well as local heroes to Scotland.

This year the festival’s country is Belgium and although we would love to have seen more films by Chantal Akerman or The Dardenne Brothers – maybe a full Chantal Akerman festival?- GFF brings some of the greatest modern films made in Belgium, including a not to be missed screening of the great animation This Magnificent Cake!

Once again, the most stimulating proposals are coming as part of the Crossing the line strand curated by Lux Scotland that brings the experimental and artist moving image pushing the boundaries, including the greatly titled Pinochet Porn.

As for us, as you may know at this stage we love and promote with particular regards original independent Spanish and Latin American films and GFF as plenty for us.

Here are our top picks if you also share that passion for Hispanic cinema:

Yuli by Icíar Bollaín (Spain/Cuba/UK)

GFT / Sat 23 (17.15) & Tue 26 Feb (15.45)

Carlos Acosta, director Icíar Bollaín and writer Paul Laverty will be in attendance at the screening on Sat 23 Feb.

The dazzling, rags-to-riches life of ballet superstar Carlos Acosta is beautifully captured by director Icíar Bollaín and writer Paul Laverty in this life-affirming adaptation of his memoir No Way Home. In modern Cuba, Acosta is rehearsing a show dramatising his life in dance. That’s the prompt to recall a childhood where the irrepressible young Carlos would rather have been playing football than attending the Cuban School of Ballet. The struggles to overcome poverty and make his family proud lie at the heart of an inspirational story as vibrant and entrancing as the Cuban locations.

Get tickets via


Todos lo saben (Everybody Knows) by Asghar Farhadi

Cineworld / Sun 24 (18.00) & Mon 25 Feb (15.15)

Director Asghar Farhadi heads to the dusty backroads north of Madrid for a drama steeped in secrets and lies. Her sister’s wedding brings Laura (Penélope Cruz) back to the small town where she was born. She is accompanied by her teenage daughter and son, but not by her husband who has remained in Buenos Aires. Her former boyfriend Paco (Javier Bardem) now runs the vineyard that once belonged to her family. During the wedding, her daughter disappears. The ordeal that follows reveals a family burdened by a past that it can neither forgive nor forget.

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Las Niñas Bien (The Good Girls) by Alejandra Márquez Abella (Mexico)

GFT / Thu 21 Feb (13.30) | Everyman / Sat 23 Feb (18.00)

Well-to-do socialite Sofia (played with a cool conviction by Ilse Salas) was living the life she always thought she wanted – perfect husband with the perfect job, perfect house, perfect servants – until the Mexican financial crisis of 1982 forces her to face the harsh realities of the world. As her world comes crumbling down around her, she’s forced to review her perceptions of class structures and her role within them. A scathing period satire on South American class structures, this beautifully realised film was the toast of TIFF 2018.

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La Quietud (The Quietude) by Pablo Trapero (Argentina)

GFT / Sun 24 Feb (13.05)

Director Pablo Trapero (The Clan, GFF16) takes a turn towards steamy melodrama in The Quietude. The title establishment is a sprawling ranch owned by a wealthy family whose antics and appetites make the Ewings look like The Broons. When the ageing patriarch suffers a stroke, his oldest daughter Eugenia (Bérénice Bejo) flies home to be with her sister Mia (Martina Gusman) and their mother Esmerelda (Graciela Borges). Old memories are revisited and old lusts reignited, as family secrets come tumbling out of the closet and a day of reckoning arrives for all the sins of the past.

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Rojo by Benjamín Naishtat (Argentina/Belgium/Brazil/Germany/France/Switzerland)

GFT / Thu 28 Feb (13.30) | CCA / Sat 2 Mar (18.15)

A gripping, noir-like thriller which mercilessly exposes the rotten heart of 1970s Argentina, Benjamín Naishtat’s subtle, twisting tale initially focuses on respected provincial lawyer Claudio (Darío Grandinetti) who is a pillar of the community. One night, he is confronted by a stranger in a busy restaurant, where verbal sparring leads to physical violence. We gradually encounter a world in which nobody is completely innocent and everyone is willing to turn a blind eye to all sorts of crimes and misdemeanours. A tense, beautifully crafted saga of a country infected with amorality.

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And One more for the whole family…

Tito and the Birds by Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar, André Catoto Dias (Brazil)

CCA / Sat 2 (14.30) & Sun 3 Mar (13.00)

There is no fear that can’t be overcome in Tito and the Birds, a glorious animated feature in which 10-year-old Tito (voiced by Pedro Enrique) sets out to save the world. When a strange epidemic spreads across the planet, Tito believes that the antidote lies in his missing father’s research on birdsong. Joined by his two best friends, Tito sets out to complete the vital research and conquer his own fears. A vibrant, fantastical family feature created using a ravishing mixture of oil painting, digital drawing and graphic animation.

Plus the world premiere of Archie (4m), by our beloved Ainslie Henderson’s stop motion animated delight following a tenacious dog on an incredible journey.


How not to love Glasgow Film Festival after this?



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