Reviewed by Paula Citron
September 20, 2011
Caprichosos de San Telmo
Toronto International Film Festival
Directed by Alison Murray
Sept. 8 to 18, 2011
To have a movie selected for TIFF is a big deal. The Canadian dancefilm documentary Caprichosos de San Telmo, directed by Alison Murray, was part of the City to City films that celebrated Buenos Aires.
San Telmo is a poor, working class section of Buenos Aires, and Murray makes that clear by beginning her documentary with shots of the grafitti-lined mean streets.
The heart of the film is the murga and the murgueros who dance in it. A murga is a carnival parade organized by the community. If you can pick up the simple choreography of turns, kicks and rhythmic arms, and make a costume, you’re in.
Murray concentrates on interviewing people who take part in the murga, and we get a glimpse of their hard life and the joy the parade gives them.
My one cavil is that the murga is shown through fast flashes of light. I wanted to see longer shots of the actual parade itself.