Café (Cantos de humo)

Hatuey Viveros Lavielle
Mexico | 2014 | 80 min
Language : Spanish
Subtitles : English, French

Jorge is a young indigenous Mexican and about to become the first lawyer representing the people from his own region. His 16 years old sister is pregnant and has to decide whether to keep the child or to continue attending school. While cleaning and roasting coffee beans the family members discuss their everyday troubles. A family portrait built on an intimate and contemplative gaze.
With the support of Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores and Agencia Mexicana de Cooperación Internacional (AMEXCID)

Surrounded by rainforest, Jorge lives with his extended family in the Mexican village of Cuetzalan. At the local university, he is the first law student with indigenous heritage; he hopes to be the first lawyer in the region representing the Náhuatl people. His sister, 16  years old and pregnant, ponders whether to sacrifice her studies to become a single mother. While cleaning and roasting coffee beans, the family members exchange accounts of their everyday troubles. Their father, though deceased, is always in their thoughts. Images of the anniversary of his death at the beginning and at the end of the film convey the powerful presence he still has. Through his love for details and dialogues, the director develops his own film-language which strikes a balance between narration and contemplation.  With a respectful and intimate gaze he shows the daily and age-old rituals of this Náhuatl family. Their culture has been discriminated against and oppressed for centuries. Finally they are now looking to claim their rightful place in modern society.

Manuela Ruggeri

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