Friday, August 24, 2012

Hermano, the film

Shot in Venezuela, Hermano, directed by Marcel Rasquin, is a powerful film where relationships or bloodties do not dictate who one calls brother—Hermano. Brothers are bound by love, bound by work, bound by necessity.

Within the close community where brothers Daniel and Julio live –the slums of La Ceniza, football is the most positive communication for the two brothers and the larger brotherhood or team. The boys worship the Carracas Football Club.

Hermano resonates—with biblical fervor. What happened when Cain slew Abel or Joseph’s brother tossed him into a well? Certainly, such actions were antithetical to a Partridge Family Reunion, but in Rasquin’s film—the lines or boundaries that hold the brothers bleed into other spaces, some irreversible.

The world Hermano reveals is tough—pain inevitable and almost expected. Soccer is escape. It is the window between the two brothers. It is where words are unnecessary—It is how the two men say: I love you. Mom bakes cakes, Julio runs drugs and Daniel goes to school, loves his mom, worships his brother who saved his life (on the elder Julio’s birthday). And then Julio takes his gift back—

Filled with suspense, great characters, esp. first time acting debuts by Elia Armas (Julio) and Fernando Moreno (Daniel) and the supportive cast including the actors who portray the coach, the mom, the girl Daniel loves who belong to someone else, the street children and the gang leader.

I guess I don't have to go there, but I will. Is it coincidental that the darker brother is the bad boy and the good kid is lighter complexioned? Certainly, Julio's complexion shows the presence of Africa in Venezuela.



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