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GIJÓN 2012

La venta del paraíso: a grotesque play against the crisis

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- Emilio Ruiz Barrachina is the first Spanish director to screen his film in the competition at the Gijón Film Festival, whose 50th edition runs from November 16 and 24

La venta del paraíso: a grotesque play against the crisis

Back from his trip to the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico, Emilio Ruiz Barrachina is the first Spanish director to have screened his film at the Gijón Film Festival, whose 50th edition, the first with Nacho Carballo as director, runs from November 16 and 24.

La venta del paraíso [+see also:
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(lit. "The sale of paradise") follows Aura María (Ana Claudia Talancón), a young Mexican with no future in her home country who accepts a promise of transport, work, and housing in Madrid. But once she gets there, she discovers that the whole set up in nothing more than a scam. Desperate at the airport, the young girl accepts that el Paisa (Carlos Iglesias) take her to a cheap hostel to get some sleep and food.

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Her entry into this new space constitutes a turning point in the film. Led by the hand of the beautiful and naive Aura María, the viewer, until then confused by the film's many focuses (drama, thriller, comedy) and themes (family, drug trafficking, immigration), enters the surreal Doña Pura pension and meets a whole series of grotesque characters who end up making the story's tone clear. In this whirlpool of the unreal, cinematic winks, social critique, and gags, two characters stand out among the rest: Olivetti (Juanjo Puigcorbé), a former senior politician who dresses like a woman so as not to cheat on his dead wife, and Oswaldo (William Miller), the frustrated orchestra conductor who spends his life tuning pianos and obsessing over Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

The screenplay, adapted by the director himself, producer Andrés Acevedo, and filmmaker Gonzalo Suárez from the novel of the same name by Barrachina, "follows exactly the same structure and rhythm as the overture," says the director, and, as in the case of the Russian composer, he has been inspired by a number of influences, the most obvious of which are Valle Inclán and Buñuel. The result is a "character film" as daring as it is irregular that stimulates reflection on immigration, the crisis, justice, dreams, and friendship.

La venta del paraíso is produced by Ircania. Selected Films is to handle its distribution in Spain and international sales.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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