Inside Out 2023: Our Review of ‘Almamula’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies by - May 27, 2023
Inside Out 2023: Our Review of ‘Almamula’

One of Almamula’s key scenes is a flashack of a boy, Panchito. He mysteriously disappear in the woods near Santiago del Estero, Argentina. His little story is part of a bigger one, one about Nino, a teenager who, with his family (Martina Grimaldi and Cali Coronel), had to leave for Santiago del Estero because he’s in the receiving end of homophobic attacks, even in a safe country for 2sLGBT+ people. Fear is a regular for us, but a few things override fear, including curiosity. A few thing slead him to the woods, including a man and possibly, a big family scandal.

Another thing going on in Nino’s life is his confirmation, which happens to most Catholic kids around 13 years old. Juan Sebastian Torales’ Almamula‘s juggling act of ideas works thanks to the atcor playing Nino, Nicolas Diaz. Diaz doesn’t overdo things, although there are moments where he’s slightly dead in the eyes, but when those eyes wake up, they really do. He conveys the ambivelnce one feels while living as someone ‘different’ in Argentina. He also conveys that mix of curiosity and fear as he finds out that there’s more to the forest than the alleged monster kidnapping kids.

Santiago del Estero is a town with symbols, which are both inherently elastic and thus confusing. Partly emobyding that confusion is the stigmata stuff. Also embodying that confusion is Malevo (Beto Fragola) who does his own metphorical juggling act in Almamula. Malevo serves as a different moral perspecive, the object of affection for both Nino and his mother (Maria Soldi), and Nino’s second father figure. But these characters survive despite those big flaws as well as the actors playing them. These performances are memorable and cinema would be at a better place to see them in more projects soon.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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