The Chicago Latino Film Festival continues through Thursday, April 23. My best bet for the second and final week is Operation Zanahoria, a Uruguayan thriller from acclaimed filmmaker Enrique Buchichio (Leo’s Room).
Offering more proof of the vitality of contemporary Uruguayan, Operation Zanahoria is a gripping procedural about two left-wing journalists who uncover a political scandal with far-reaching consequences prior to the Presidential election of 2004. Co-writer/director Enrique Buchichio has cited All the President’s Men as his primary influence, which is obvious in the set-up of a Deep Throat–like informant (Cesar Troncoso) funneling sensitive information about Uruguay’s civic-military dictatorship in the '70s and '80s to a pair of newspapermen with contrasting personalities (Martin Rodriguez and Abel Tripaldi).
The director has said, “Uruguayan cinema, especially fiction films, hasn’t fully contributed to a revision of the dictatorship or its legacy.” By loosely basing a mystery on an era in which many dissidents were tragically “disappeared,” Buchichio has performed an important act of political reckoning, even as (or perhaps especially because) his film’s surprising finale offers an eerie reminder of how the truth so often ends up buried in the sands of time.
Operation Zanahoria screens on Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19. For more info visit the Chicago Latino Film Festival’s official site.