Saturday: 6:30 pm — La Casa Grande
The film’s about a young man, Santiago. He has served his time in the military, and the violence he has seen and experienced has affected him deeply. His whole generation has the same problem: they are veterans (but they’re only 20-something years old) and have no work. Many of his friends turn to crime, but not Santiago. He starts to work as a taxidriver in Lima, and the camera follows him several days. (the movie translates as ‘Days of Santiago’) We see how he deals with the world. Santiago is extremely paranoid and doesn’t know how to interact with people. He meets a lot of girls, but doesn’t know what to do or say. His experiences in the army, although they are never shown in flashback, have left marks.
The story is based on real life experiences from a veteran, and many things really happened. The director, Josue Mendez, who was present at the Rotterdam Film Festival, explained that there are lots of guys like Santiago in Peru, a whole ‘lost generation’, forced in joining the military at a young age, and having a hard time dealing with society when they return. However, a large part of the film focuses on Santiago’s family, and that part is entirely fictional. Of course, you can’t help but thinking about ‘Taxi driver’, Scorsese’s famous movie, which also centers around a taxi driver who has emotional problems and can’t deal with the world. However, the films are incomparable, because the style and substance are very different. ‘Dias de santiago’ will probably never be as well-known as ‘Taxi driver’, but it certainly deserves to be. See it, when you have the chance.