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'Jean Gentil' as Bronze Alexander

Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas' film Jean Gentil (2010)
is the story of a Haitian immigrant living in the Dominican Republic
and his daily life as he struggles to survive alone in the world of hard
work and increasing solitude. The film uses Cinema Novo/Neo Realism
reminiscent style of on location shooting, hand held camera and a
barrenness of stripped production makeover as its advantage to give
increasing sense of the isolation, poverty and many times hopeless
feelings of the main character as he faces the world alone.

 

At times one may feel restless and impatient while watching this film as
it is fuses documentary with cinema verite style and sometimes seems to
have little in the way of story; however, as it follows the monotonous
and wearisome daily life of a poor man alone in search of meaning, God,
love, self worth and survival in hostile uncaring world, the lacks of in
the filmmaking techniques and obvious storytelling formula, prove in
effect the film's great merit for true artistic innovation. Jean Gentil
is indeed a moving film that gives all that cinema can do to evoke the
feelings of an immigrant's fight in an inhospitable world.

 

The film won a special jury award at the 51st Thessaloniki Film Festival
for Originality and Innovation. They received a bronze Alexander
statue, ‘so heavy' the proud filmmaker team announced, ‘we don't know if
we will fit it in our suitcase'. The film is a Dominican-Mexican
co-production, as Cárdenas is Mexican, while Guzmán is Dominican.

 

The film was shot in Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince and stars a
Haitian actor, Jean Paul Presimé and Dominican actor Yanmarco King
Encarnación and is distributed by Gael García Bernal's and Diego Luna's
company Canana Films.

Written by, Vanessa McMahon Dec 12, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Jury Award for Originality and Innovation - Bronze Alexander
(5.000 euros)

JEAN GENTIL
By
LAURA AMELIA GUZMAN & ISRAEL CARDENAS, Producers Pablo Cruz,
Bärbel Mauch, Israel Cardenas, Laura Amelia Guzman, Screenwriters Israel
Cardenas, Laura Amelia Guzman, Mexico/Dominican Republic/Germany, 2010

 

see trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRDqYihLWCo&feature=related

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