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América

(Spanish, Subtitled): This documentary, set in Colima, Mexico, tells the story of three brothers (Diego, Bruno, and Rodriguez), two of whom have returned to take care of their grandmother,  América who, in her 90’s, is frail and appears to be suffering from older-age dementia. After she suffered a fall and the neighbors called the police, her son (their father) was sent to jail for neglect. It is a really endearing story, these young men who give up their lives away from Colima to return to help her. Her care causes tensions among them – they fight over her care, money, and other issues – but they are all united in their determination that she won’t go to a nursing home. It is fascinating to watch the brothers fight, come together, and show such tenderness for their Abuela in spite of the difficulties of her care. She is also a commanding presence in her own right. I loved the casualness of the filming – I was not sure for a while whether it was a documentary or not until they have her talk to the camera. Thumbs up from me for a film that paints an interesting contrast to our own culture, where nursing homes are a common answer to elderly care.  (2018; 4 Stars)

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