food in the arts

dir:Adrián Caetano prod:Lita Stantic, Matiás Mosteirín/ cast:Freddie Flores, Rosa Sanchez, Oscar Bertea, Enrique Liporace, Marcelo Videla/ 75'/ Argentina/ 2001
During the opening credits of Bolivia, we see TV fragments of a soccer match between Argentina and Bolivia. This makes it clear just how the two countries get on: under the jeering and chauvinist commentary of an Argentine presenter the Bolivian side is hacked to pieces. The Bolivian Freddie left his wife and children to seek work in Argentina. He finds a job as a cook in a grill restaurant in Buenos Aires. The clientele, largely coarse beer-drinking drivers, view the new cook with suspicion and disgust: why did the owner take on a foreigner when there are so many unemployed Argentineans? Freddie works away in silence and tries to ignore the provocative insults of the drivers. He does make friends with the waitress (who is however also the sweetheart of one of the regulars) and holds his boss in high regard. But if you bind yourself to anything, you get yourself into deep water... The story of Bolivia is largely set in the restaurant, where the camera stays close to the characters. Dialogues are only used sparingly. The black and white images of everyday life in the restaurant and the significant looks of guests and staff are enough to sketch a sultry mood, while the melancholy Bolivian music fits in perfectly with this story about xenophobia and nostalgia.
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