Talking about culture, let’s talk about something people usually don’t do when visiting other countries: going to the movies. Of course nobody wants to waste time watching something that could be watched at home. But the point is that here, at least in Buenos Aires, our cinematographic offer is much wider than in many other places. You can find movies from anywhere, mainstream and independent, there are theaters that offer special cycles (by author, by country, by topic, short films, animation, etc) and amazing local and international festivals. Besides, tickets are not expensive at all, and you can always find discounts with some credit card, or buying online, or some weekdays is 2×1.

Honestly, I had never thought about it either. My Norwegian volunteers did. You see, volunteers and students are not regular tourists. They discovered the two: the specially wide offer and the cheap tickets. I just took both for granted, I assumed it would be the same everywhere. Turns out it’s not. Many places around the globe offer only a few mainstream films and/or tickets are quite expensive. So we went to the movies a lot. We even went to a Norwegian cycle at Teatro San Martín (it always has good stuff) and we watched this beautiful film about a train driver who was retiring so he was doing his last round but visiting each place he had been passing by all those years. So sweet.

But there is something else I’m really dying to tell you. I’ve noticed I dropped a few lines but just wanted to get here: I played a role in a movie. Yeaaaah! A real one. We won prizes at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival. How amazing is that??! Huge. First, I’m not an actress. I’m sure I could be. But I wasn’t considering it. I’m a sociologist, mostly an introvert, I don’t like exams and waiting in long lines so I never went to any casting, and I had just arrived back in Buenos Aires with my then recent now ex husband, in the middle of a deep economic crisis with no idea what we could possibly do. It just happened. A friend, who wrote the script, wanted to shoot it with us, all of us, the whole group of friends. We all agreed and then just did it. He directed, and produced and played the main character, another friend held the camera, another one edited, and we all played roles. Nobody learned 1 line. He just gave us general ideas about what he wanted to happen or what we would be speaking about or what was the situation. We wore our own clothes and did our own make up if we wanted (maybe it was just me with some mascara). We enjoyed the whole process. It took us out of the crisis and into our friendship. The result was great, fresh, real, with a hint of sadness in it, but most of all loaded with friendship. It’s not just how friendship is shown, but how it actually IS there. It’s all about friendship and love, various forms of love. When we knew we had won 2 prizes we decided to attend the Festival. So we traveled to Mar del Plata, a seaside city 500km south from Buenos Aires, and we shared a 1 bedroom apartment that belonged to the only friend who didn’t get a part in the movie (I think she didn’t want one, and then regret it, but of course she also came with us). And when we went to the theater, as regular audience, to watch ourselves on the big screen, once the film ended and the lights started to turn on, we heard people whispering “There they are!”, “Those over there are THEM, aren’t they??”. We loved the whole experience. I’ll always be thankful for it.

 

Email me for further info about movies and theaters and festivals miguialoreta@gmail.com

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