Friday 14 June 2024

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Culture | IFFI

"Un Traductor/ A Translator": Why the movie won Golden Goblet at Shanghai


No interpreters needed, sit back and be awed. Rating- 4/5

The movie is based at the time of Mikhail Gorbachev's ( the erstwhile leader of the Soviet Union) first visit to Cuba, around December 1991.

The film starts with the lives of a Cuban family of Malin (Rodrigo Santoro), his wife Elena (Nataliya Rodina) and their son Xavier. (Jorge Herrera)

Malin is a professor of Russian literature at a Cuban university, and Elena is a curator at a local art gallery .

Malin is called upon to act as a translator for some Russian patients being treated in Cuban hospitals, and he is assigned to the children's ward, of which Nurse Gladys (Maricel Alvarez) is in charge .

Directed by brothers and co directors Rodrigo and Sebastian Barruso, Un Traductor in no way comes off as a sob story. This being said, watching Malin deal with the young children, and how the experience impacts him and his family ,sooner or later, will surely bring a tear or two to your eyes .

A few aspects of Cuban- Soviet relations are tactfully interspersed with the main plot of the movie . An intriguing example of this is the fact the Soviet Union used to provide Cuba with petroleum in exchange for sugar !

Off screen developments as a result of the said relations, and the effects of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, are also portrayed in the form of changes in the life of Cubans, and the facilities and material items available to them.

As beautiful as Havana is, where the entirety of the movie is shot, take nothing away from cinematographer Miguel Litin Minz's excellent work .

No it's not a Marvel movie . But yes , make sure to stay behind for the credits . You'll be made aware of a piece of information that will undoubtedly make Un Traductor put yet another smile on your face.

Winner of the Golden Goblet for Best Director at the Shanghai International Film Festival 2018, and nominated for awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Felix Film Awards, this film is a frontrunner for a prize in the International Competition category at this year's IFFI.


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