The Arts

Caprichosos de San Telmo

Caprichosos de San Telmo featured image

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.

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