SYDNEY – The Sydney Latin American Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday in the Australian city with all eyes on the award-winning Chilean film “Perro bomba” (2019), an uncompromising portrait of xenophobia and racism.
The film received overwhelming critical acclaim from the Mexican press at the Guadalajara Film Festival and was awarded the best Latin American film at the Malaga Festival in Spain.
Perro Bomba tells the story of a Haitian immigrant who is denigrated by the media and repudiated after striking a construction foreman.
The film’s director, Juan Caceres, will be present during the screening on Sept. 7.
The SLAFF, which runs until Sept. 11, is set to offer a total of 23 movies, including feature-length and short films focusing on the issues of racism and migrations.
Festival programmer Gisselle Gallego told EFE that these were bold and different films that touched on themes generally not discussed in film and society.
This year, the SLAFF, which generally showcases Latin American films with social content, will be exhibiting movies focused on hot-button topics such as migration, xenophobia, and the impact of climate change on migration, she added.
In this regard, other features to be showcased in the current edition are Argentinian film “Joel” (2018), by Carlos Sorin, which tells the story of the adoption of a nine-year-old by a couple who move to Patagonia; as well as the Bolivian movie “Muralla” (2018), by Gory Patiño, which deals with the problem of human trafficking.
On the other hand, the short “Tierra Mojada” (2017), which is about the displacement of a Brazilian indigenous community by a mudslide caused by deforestation, appeared to be a premonition of what the world is witnessing with the Amazonian forest fires in Brazil and Bolivia, according to Gallego.
Some of the funds raised by SLAFF will go towards social aid projects in Latin America.
This year, these projects include the non-profit Comamos Juntos (“Let’s Eat Together”), which tackles food waste and food insecurity in Nicaragua, and Rochocheb aj Kamonel (“House of Weavers”), a non-profit from Belize working to uplift the indigenous Maya people.