lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 14 10:30:27 MDT 2009
Opening at the Film Forum in New York tomorrow, Heddy Honigmann’s
“Oblivion” (El Olvido) is a penetrating study of poverty in Peru,
particularly its impact on children who scrape by as shoeshine boys,
jugglers, gymnasts, and musicians on the busy streets of Lima. They are
like the children you can spot selling candy in New York subways or
flowers on the streets of Los Angeles, but with much greater odds
against them. Despite the grimness of the topic, the documentary is
often very funny as well as always lyrical.
Honigmann, a child of Holocaust survivors who was born in Lima in 1951,
got the idea for the movie from a waiter:
"A few years ago it was a waiter, at work in a fancy restaurant, who was
the inspiration for the rediscovery of my city. This waiter, whom I
recognized after many years away from Peru, told me how he has survived
the humiliation and hardship by smiling. Others manage to hold up their
heads by silently making fun of the class that oppresses them,
remembering with pride that they have survived both economic crisis and
political terror from both sides. And some survive by entertaining car
drivers with acrobatics, hoping for a few coins.
"All my characters are first-class actors. Hardly any of them have ever
been in a museum. Nor have they heard of Marcel Proust or Maria Callas;
yet all the people you’ll meet in Oblivion are born poets."
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