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The beautiful south

Lakino, Berlin's vibrant Latin American film festival, returns bigger than ever to Kino Babylon and Volksbühne, packed with screenings, panel discussions, art exhibitions, and a Latin American fair and party. Catch it Oct 5-12.

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El Mudo

Over the past five years, Lakino, a plucky celebration of all celluloid things Latin American, has grown from a twinkle in Peruvian artist Martín Capatinta’s eye to become, by dint of a dedicated team and sheer elbow grease, a bi-annual weeklong offering of screenings, panel talks, exhibitions and parties. The festival’s growing programme has also fledged over to the Volksbühne alongside original nest Kino Babylon.

The fiction and documentary competitions and Panorama showcase gather a dozen films screened at festivals from Sundance to Biarritz. Peru’s feted El Mudo, decorated at Locarno (Best Actor: distinctly hang-dog Fernando Bacilio), opens the festival. El Lugar del Hijo paints a moody portrait of stagnating Uruguayan youth and ineffectual politicisation. Las niñas Quispe follows the fate of three tough, increasingly isolated sisters struggling to get by in the beautifully captured Chilean wilderness. Documentaries include Icaros, Georgina Barreiro’s gorgeous, meditative foray into the rhythms of the Peruvian Amazon Shipibo tribe and their ayahuasca-led spiritual journeys, while Panorama hosts Alejandro Jodorowsky’s autobiographical whirl La Danza de la Realidad.

Lakino joins the ranks of those marking the Berlin Wall’s spectacular disintegration this autumn, but also notes other walls still very much in evidence – including the USA/Mexico border fence – through extensive art and photography exhibitions. Panel discussions with academics, directors and human rights workers wrangle with three Latin American topics: memory and reconciling with brutal episodes in the past (and present); identity and indigenous culture; and mining’s disastrous societal and environmental effects. Finally, never overlook the attendant fifth-birthday parties. 

Highlights: the Deputamadre smash-up on Sat, Oct 11, and Argentinian giants Babasónicos (Wed, Oct 29).

LAKINO FESTIVAL, Oct 5-12 | Kino Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg- Str. 30, Mitte, U-Bhf Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.

Originally published in issue #131, October 2014.