Cine Las Americas 2012
By Don Simpson | May 1, 2012
Director: Aurora Guerrero
Writer: Aurora Guerrero
Starring: Fenessa Pineda, Venecia Troncoso, Joaquín Garrido, Laura Patalano, Dulce Maria Solis, Marisela Uscanga, Melissa Uscanga, Omar Leyva, Armando Cosio, Tonita Castro, Paul Alayo
Yolanda (Fenessa Pineda) is a smart high school kid whose next logical step in life is college. Her parents (Joaquín Garrido, Laura Patalano) take full credit for Yolanda’s academic success because they feel like they have made all of the appropriate sacrifices in their lives to help promote an environment for Yolanda to succeed in — in other words, they keep Yolanda on a very short leash to keep her out of trouble.
Then, Yolanda meets Mari (Venecia Troncoso), a new student who is struggling academically. Yolanda takes it upon herself to befriend Mari and tutor her; but it turns out that Mari has a lot of personal baggage, such as being the sole bread winner of her broken family. Education is not nearly as important for Mari as keeping her family from getting evicted from their apartment.
Writer-director Aurora Guerrero develops Yolanda and Mari’s friendship with utmost care and tenderness. Nothing is done purposefully to tug at our heartstrings. There are no stirringly emotional climaxes or ridiculously happy endings. It is as if the narrative lives and breathes organically on its own, without the involvement of a directorial hand, and this is due in no small part to the unbridled realism of Fenessa Pineda and Venecia Troncoso’s performances.