Foreign Land Movie Info:
Life changed for Alejandro Reis – Alex – in just a few brief moments when he discovers that he is not an American citizen. His parents brought him across the Mexican border when he was just months old. Flora Hendricks, on the other hand is born in Missouri. She decides to run away from home. Alex finds himself deported to Mexico On a seeming parallel track, Flora is arrested for shoplifting. And put in the same deportation bus with Alex. Once on Mexican soil Alex and Flora find out quickly that they are way out of their depth. They learn quickly that Tijuana and most of the other border towns are ultra violent places that are overrun by dangerous, warring criminal factions.
Director: Rafi Girgis
Writers: Peter Allen III, Peter Allen
Stars: Jeffrey Licon, Alex Frnka, Peter Holden
Foreign Land (Terra Estrangeira), directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas, is a story of fate, one of the foreign lands of the title. It’s a compelling tale accompanied by some great cinematography by Walter Carvalho and a fine choice of suitably melancholic fado tunes by José Miguel Wisnik. It is also something of a homage in a wider sense to the movement of people and the idea and importance of belonging.
The action starts in São Paulo with a view of the city from the flat of Paco/Francisco Eizaguirre (Fernando Alves Pinto), a second generation Brazilian, whose mother has never quite managed to shake off the ‘scent’ of San Sebastian, Spain, her old home. All the characters find themselves somewhere else. They are the flotsam of life in a world where choice is a dream not reality. Aspiration and compromise are locked in a time-limited embrace.
Paco shares a small flat with his mother in one of the poorer districts of the city. It’s a sprawling jungle of buildings and freeways stretching into a pallid smog-blurred distance. In the foreground is a huge advertisement hoarding for Hope, a brand of knickers. If only it were that simple.
The throw of the dice
When Paco’s mother dies suddenly, worn out by the rigours of a life with little money or leisure, his life takes a different turn. From practising a recitation of Euripides’ Hecuba for an audition, which he was too grief-stricken to complete, he gets drunk and listless and muses on his mother’s hopeless ambition of returning to a version of San Sebastian that no longer exists. Her dream is shattered by a life of impoverishment in a country, not her own, where inflation is hyper and her savings have strings attached to them whatever the currency happens to be at the time.