Encore! For the fourth time, and for six consecutive evenings, the Blickle Kino will feature young film-makers and award-winning directors from Spain and Mexico – and admission is free. The cultural departments of the embassies from both countries have selected hidden cinematic gems from the Spanish-speaking realm that stand apart from more world-renowned film productions.

Fernando González Molina, Palmeras en la nieve (Palm Trees in the Snow), ES 2015, 163 min.

Based on the best-selling novel by Luz Gabas, the film is largely set on the island of Fernando Poo during the declining years of its colonization by the Spanish. Mostly delivered via flashback, it follows the discovery by the young, idealistic Clarence of a fragment of an old letter which shows that her aging uncle Killian has been secretly despatching money to an island family. Despite the advice of her mother not to go, Clarence turns up in the tropics and in true postcolonial style, she’ll learn that what’s been going on under the apparently benign surface is actually rather horrible.

(Jonathan Holland)

Killian is a young man who has never left the remote mountains of Huesca (Spain) which saw him grow up. In 1953, he travels back to the exotic Equatorial African island of Fernando Poo, in Spanish Guinee, where he was born, to work in a cacao plantation alongside his father and his brother. During 20 years in this island, until the troubled days of independence, he will undertake a journey towards maturity and knowledge, but will also have to deal with pain and loss.

(production note)

Alonso Ruizpalacios, Güeros, MX 2014, 106 min.

Tomas is too much for his lone mother so she sends him to live with his older brother Federico, aka Sombra, in Mexico City. After a bus ride he arrives at his brother's home late at night. The apartment is dark without electricity. The following morning there is no breakfast. Tomas witnesses how Sombra and his roommate can obtain electricity though the neighbor below them by communicating with a girl with Down syndrome. Tomas reads the newspaper and discovers a small note about Epigmenio Cruz, a Mexican folk rock musician, being hospitalized for liver problems. Tomas who idolizes Cruz since his father first brought a cassette of his music, suggests to search for and visit him. They get into a protest march of students, the 1999 student protests in Mexico City, enter a hospital where Cruz had been admitted. Then they cross Mexico City to a zoo where Cruz had been working. His colleague tells them he no longer works there. They eventually find him in a bar …

(Production note)

Regie: Alonso Ruizpalacios, Drehbuch: Alonso Ruizpalacios, Gibrán Portela, Kamera: Damian Garcia, Musik: Tomás Barreiro, Mit Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Sebastián Aguirre, Ilse Salas, Leonardo Ortizgris

Enrique Gato, Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones, ES 2012, Animation, 90 min.

Tad is a celebrity archeologist and adventurer just like his hero Max Mordon... but only in his dreams! In reality, Tad is a Chicago construction worker. One day, however, he is mistaken for a real professor and takes his place on a flight to Peru in search of the lost city of Paititi. Professor Lavrof and his beautiful daughter Sara are waiting for the famous professor to crack the code. Unfortunately for Tad, Sara is engaged to real-life hero Max Mordon, but Max has secretly betrayed the Professor by teaming up with the evil Kopponen and his shady Odysseus corporation. Time for Tad to step up.

(production note)

Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina, Coco, USA 2017, Animation, 78 min.

Miguel, is a twelve-year-old boy in the fictional Mexican town of Santa Cecilia and he is trying to get out from under the shadow of his great-great-grandfather, who left his family to pursue a career as a musician. He dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

(production note)

Daniel Monzón, El Niño, ES 2014, 136 min.

“El Niño” is a young guy who lives in La Línea de la Concepción, close to Rock of Gibraltar, repairing and testing motorboats. After a night of party with his friend “El Compi”, they meet Halil, a young Muslim who has an uncle, Rachid, a drug dealer. Convinced by El Compi, El Niño accepts to be a drug mule, crossing from África to Spain in a motorboat. On the opposite side of the law there is Jesús, a veteran police officer who, helped by his partner Eva, is looking for “El Inglés”, an important drug dealer who operates around the Rock of Gibraltar.


Hugo Rodríguez, Ella es Ramona, MX 2015, 83 min.

Ramona is fat woman with too much weight and barely any luck. She recalls a childhood filled with moral abuse by her mother, sister and friends, calling her silly offensive names referencing her overweight. When she became an adult, things didn’t really get any better. She’s fired for being fat, she wants a liposuction but the doctor informs her she’s not a candidate due to her overweight, and all her universe seems to be collapsing after a series of unfortunate events. But everything will soon get better thanks to some magical beetles she finds in a Tarot café.

(Production note)

An irresistible comic fable that breaks down gender and body size stereotypes, Ella es Ramona stars renowned stand-up comedian Andrea Ortega Lee (also known as “Manchita”) as the titular protagonist, a magnetic, upbeat 30-something wrongly fired for her full figure.

(Isabela Fondevila)

Regie: Hugo Rodríguez, Drehbuch: Beto Cohen, Hugo Rodríguez, Kamera: Hugo Rodríguez, Schnitt: Laura Pesce, Francisco X. Rivera, Musik: Federico Bonasso, Mit Andrea Ortega Lee, Daniel Giménez Cacho, María Rojo, Julio Bekhor.