“Villa” Takes Public on Wild Ride through the Slums of Buenos Aires

by Marfa Nekrasova, contributting blogger

Buenos Aires, the most European looking city in South America, still has its dark parts – shantytowns called Villas that spread out along the city´s edges.

“Villa”, a movie by Ezio Massa, shows us this harsh reality through the stories of three teenage boys desperate to watch the football world cup. It is a light version of Brazilian “City of God”, with almost no blood, but full of passion, violence, despair and sincerity.

Massa shows the stories of the villa’s inhabitants, who commit different sins for the sake of what is sacred to all of them – the Argentina’s National Football Team. The movie becomes a kind of parable, showing how Cuzco, the youngest, threatens an old woman and her grandchild with a knife, Lupin, older, enters a shop and ends up escaping from the police on a stolen bike, and Freddy, the oldest, kills several people. All three of them pay back kindness with evil, but they still had common values, until one day they start to lose these values, one by one.

All protagonist roles are excellently played by local people, whose sullen glances pierce the soul every time. Ezio Massa is telling us the story of three human beings, or of the whole of humanity, letting us into that red zone of the city that is actually not so different from where and how we all live.

Most of the movie is also edited in quite an experimental way – shots (mostly close-ups) change with the rhythm of Alejandro Millán Pastori’s African percussions that take us deep into the villa life and its speed. The director and producer Ezio Massa is open to breaking the rules in styel as well as in forms. This could be the reason why Villa is being shown on the big screen 5 years after being made. This can be used as good advertisement. It gave the opportunity to participate in international festivals, including Montreal and London Latin America Film Festival, when the Argentinian distributors decided that the time had come.

I would recommend the movie to the fans of dramas on the border of cruelty and compassion (like the ones of Alejandro González Iñárritu) who are older than 16.

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