Bolivia

Thrown out of work when the coca fields he tends are destroyed by a U.S. drug interdiction program, a Bolivian farm laborer with a wife and children illegally emigrates to a suburb of Buenos Aires and finds a job as a fry cook, but his new life is plagued by corrupt cops and the bigots who patronize the diner where he works. Severe budgetary constraints obliged director Israel Adrian Caetano (Pizza, Beer, Smoke) to shoot this plain but powerful drama discontinuously over the course of three years, but he elicited fine performances from a cast that includes seasoned professionals (40-year movie veteran Enrique Liporace as the Bolivian's tough, manipulative boss), local thespians (Freddie Flores as the dogged protagonist), and novices (Rosa Sanchez as the unhappy young woman running the kitchen). Caetano artfully objectifies the Bolivian's feelings of dislocation by frequently pairing dialogue with still lifes, and because the long, static diner scenes are sound-track free, the use of music at selected moments in the story is explosive. 75 min.

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