Film Festival – Try not to Cry for this film from Argentina

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Wednesday proved to be quite rewarding with two different films worth checking out.

Anita is just another example of why I attend the Film Festival religiously each year.  It tells the tale of a young girl with Downs syndrome who becomes separated from her mother when the Israel Mutual Association is bombed in Buenos Aires.  While this 1994 incident is the setting, the real story is how the girl navigates herself in the city where she doesn’t know her address or even her mom’s real name.  Anita’s Alejandra Manzo who appears to have Down Syndrome herself, is either truly gifted or director Marcos Carnevale is excellent in getting the most out of his actors or both.  This film won a major award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.  It took my heart away.  4 stars out of 4.  It shows on Thursday at 1:45pm.

I am not sure how I ended up seeing a movie about Finnish men taking Steam Baths, but Steam of Life proves that any topic can be enlightening.  In retrospect, it makes sense that men from all stripes of life feel comfortable baring their soul when draped only in a towel or less.  While one man bares his soul about being estranged from his children, another scene shows a bunch of Santa Clauses partaking in the humidity in stride.  Alternating between sadness and humor (one steam bath is in a phone booth),  you begin to understand why Finland has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.   3 stars.  Thursday 8:50 pm.



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