By Hipolito Munoz, Managing Editor/Publisher
There is a philosophy that runs through independent and Latin Cinema story telling that refuses to either use the American “formula” and chooses to provoke its audience with a more audacious and unexpected style that mesmerizes because of its simplicity. Mexican cinema continues to expand its depth of realism that creates an emotional journey that would challenge the best independent cinema anywhere in the world. Evidence of the complexity and dynamic story telling with what is a journey of self-discovery and the beauty of authentic friendships is Director Ivan Avila Duenas film “El Peluquero Romantico” (The Romantic Barber), takes the audience through the very personal challenges of carrying through tragedy and using the event to create a much more personal authentic life.
When Victor, a neighborhood barber, loses his mother, he finds himself in a moment of personal discomfort largely because of his comfortable life. He owns a business, he has a home, he has good friends, he has opportunities for romance at different levels, but none of it is because of choices he made, this life is because of him just staying and embracing a life that was created around him because of his family. He lives a very singular, solitary life as a single middle class man in Mexico City.
The beauty of the film, is watching a simple man, make courageous choices. Choices that many people would not consider. His quiet embrace of his authentic self because of the gentle push of his spirited soul to pursue a different place, a different environment. There are many vehicles that Mr. Avilas uses to help us walk along this journey, one of it is compassion, one other is longing for a better more authentic life.
As Mexican cinema evolves, it creates a deeper bond between the filmmaker and his/her audience. The highly personal and complex choices these storytellers make bring us back to a personal reality that many times is missing on films created for everyone’s consumption. These films are more mature and more demanding of its audience, it respects their intelligence, Mr. Duenas’ style, certainly does that.