Private Matters | Chicago Reader

Private Matters

Documentarians Lisandra Rivera and Manolo Sarmiento examine the lives of three illegal immigrants in Madrid—refugees from Ecuador's economic collapse eking out livelihoods while struggling with homesickness and despair. In less capable hands this 2002 video might have succumbed to sentimentalism or tedium, but Rivera and Sarmiento are adept at drawing out drama from the mundane, and the cinematography is rich and resonant without being arty. In one of the film's most compelling scenes we see Antonio, who survives by selling drinks in a park, arriving at sunrise to clean up around the place of his business in the hope that authorities will not shut him down as a nuisance. 72 min.

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