HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Friday, October 17, 2008


Mission Valley -- The HUGE difference between Hollywood's blood-n-guts movies and powerful, dramatic foreign films is now showing at the 2008 Cine en tu Inoma Series. It's at the "UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas in the Hazard Center.
Each month from August to November, the Media Arts Center of Golden Hills, which annually produces the internationally acclaimed Latino Film Festival in San Diego, runs movies from its 2008 festival for one week at the UltraStar."
Three advance trailers, produced by Hollywood and promoting future movies at the "UltraStar," were filled with constant bloody violence, guns and explosions.
But, the main screening, the Chilean movie el Brindis ( The Toast), showed none of that.
Instead, "it was a simple love story with a surprise ending," said Martin Brickson later.
The movie follows a young, extremely attractive (muy guapa) woman from Mexico City who is re-united with her long estranged father whom she hasn't seen and years - and, at first doesn't particularly like.
Along the way, however, she enters into a forbidden amorous relationship with the equally young Chilean rabbi, who is preparing her 80-year-old father for his Bar Mitzvah.
While it's a movie about three totally different personalities searching for the meaning of life, el Brindis (with English sub-titles) is really a light comedy.
The young Mexican woman is at first clearly uncomfortable circulating in the solid, Jewish world in Chile. Yet, she is simultaneously impressed by - and falling in love with - the young rabbi.
Oddly, though she thinks about him regularly, she's not initially receptive when he tried - albeit clumsily - to express his affection for her.
Later, her "receptivity" changes, on many level.
Her elderly father is sick and dying, yet he doesn't want medical treatment. He only wants his sacred Bar Mitzvah.
As the movie reveals the exciting mysteries of the Bar Mitzvah celebration, it clearly shows that the Jewish know how to mix dignity and exciting fun.
By the way, for those who did not have a close and loving relationship with their Dad (e.g., this reviewer), this movie can give your emotions a strong workout.
But, serious Latino cinema often does that.
el Brindis "is a simple love story which ends with some unanswered questions," said Brickson after seeing the Chilean movie. He is a retired mechanic engineer in San Diego.
While visiting her very Jewish and long-estranged father, this Mexican woman goes on a fling, rather than a commitment," Brickson added.
Many may not think of Jewish communities existing in Latin and South America; but this movie reveals them dramatically, plus showing some beautiful scenes of Chile.
el Brindis runs for 100 minutes and is shown at 11:30m am, 1:45 pm, 4 pm, 6:15 pm and 8:30 pm until Oct.16th. There is also a 10:30 pm screening on Fridays and Saturdays.
Tickets are $9.50 general admission, $7.50 for students, seniors and members of the Media Arts Center.
November 14-20, Cine en tu Idoma will offer a "mini-fest" of three, award-winning Latino films: (1) el violin, (2) XXY (Gay) and (3) el Bano del Papa (The Pope's Toilet).
Review copyright, 2008 by journalist Leo E. Laurence, J.D. leopowerhere@msn.com (619) 757-4909


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