Top prize of the Lima Film Festival that ended on August 12, is just the latest award El Premio (The Prize) by Paula Markovitch has collected on its round of the film festivals.
Opening with a long tracking shot, the camera follows a small child struggling along a desolate, windswept beach. She’s trying to rollerskate, but it’s clearly an exercise in futility. But she persists and soon the old fashioned strap-on skates drag uselessly behind her. Her stubbornness is perplexing, even disturbing: why try so hard to overcome an impossible situation? The moment suggests a willful detachment from reality, and is a powerful precursor for what follows.
Winner of the In The Spirit of Freedom Award at the 28th Jerusalem Film Festival, El Premio is a powerful observational document, taking in the terror and the absurdity of the darkest years of the Argentinian dictatorship of the 1970s as seen through the eyes of a small child.