Release date: December 9, 2009
Director: Alejandro Fernández Almendras
Screenplay by: Alejandro Fernández Almendras
Cast: Manuel Hernandez, Alejandra Yañez, Clemira Aguayo & Cornelio Villagran
Huacho tells the story of a low-income family in central Chile, following the point of view of each member – grandparents Clemira and Cornelio, daughter Alejandra, and her pre-teenager boy Manuel – for a period of 24 hours, as they deal with the overlap of modern and rural life.
The film starts off early one morning, everyone gets ready for a new day and has breakfast, when suddenly the lights go out. Manuel checks if the fuses blew out, but they didn’t. So Clemira asks her daughter if she remembered to pay the electricity bill – Alejandra says she did, but of course she didn’t.
The story breaks off as Clemira leaves for work, selling cheese on the side of the highway, Alejandra goes to work at a tourist hacienda, Manuel goes to school, and Cornelio goes to the field he is fencing. It all paints a realistic description of a family that is trapped between a modern society where you need to pay your bills, but still find yourself getting a new dress or wanting a brand new video game, and a rural lifestyle where you struggle for the price of milk to make your own cheese to make ends meet.
Huacho has a lot of scenes that are devoid of any dialogue, and has characters wandering around or just standing there, which either makes you wonder what they’re thinking or gets you to feel gloomy. My favorite segment was probably grandmother Clemira’s, as she struggles to sell the fresh cheese she’s made, and all her seller “friends” begin leaving one by one. In the end, Clemira is at the bus stop alone waiting for Manuel to pick her up.
No big climactic big bang booms, Huacho will slowly show you a seemingly average day of a normal family trying to cope with the changing times. It actually reminded me of some slow-paced Japanese films, and those pawn!