Latin American Films Top Best-of-2011 Lists


As 2011 came to an end, several publications published their best-of-the-year lists, which included some Latin American films. The most cherished Latin American film of the year was Patricio Guzmán's Nostalgia de la luz / Nostalgia for the Light (pictured), which was named Best Documentary Film in the past edition of the Cinema Tropical AWARDS and was featured in several lists including those published by the Village Voice (number three, Best Documentary),indieWIRE (number two, Best Documentary; number 22, Best Film), Reverse Shot (number four), Houston Chronicle (number seven), Slant Magazine (number nine), Cinespect (number eight, Best Film; and Best Documentary in no particular order), and Film Comment (number 16).

Guzmán’s film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 and was theatrically released by Icarus Films in the US in March of 2011. The Chilean documentary was also listed in Dennis Lim’s piece on the Most Overlooked Films of 2011 published by The New York Times; was one of twelve select films that got a four-star rating in The Washington Post last year and was included on NPR’s slant of Five Breakthrough Documentaries.

The late Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz, who died last August, was also featured in several lists with his last film Mysteries of Lisbon, it scored the place number three in Slant Magazine, number five in theVillage Voice, number six in Film Comment, and number seven in indieWIRE.

Additionally the Argentine film Historias extraordinarias / Extraordinary Stories by Mariano Llinás, which was released by Cinema Tropical at The Museum of Modern Art last May, also made it Lim’s piece on The New York Times, and it scored the place number ten in Reverse Shot and number 22 in Slant Magazine lists. The Mexican films El lugar más pequeño / The Tiniest Place by Tatiana Huezo and Año bisiesto / Leap Year by Michael Rowe also got mentioned in some critics’ lists published by indieWIRE,Filmmaker Magazine and Slant Magazine.

The Mexican submission to this year’s Academy Awards Miss Baladirected by Gerardo Naranjo, as well as the Argentine film Las Acacias directed by Pablo Giorgelli were included in the Best Undistributed Films of the Year by Film Comment and indieWIRE. Both films are scheduled for US release in 2012. Moreover film critic Howard Feinstein also included the Mexican film Fecha de caducidad / Expiration Date in his list of best of the year published by Filmmaker Magazine, and featured Mexican actress Úrsula Pruneda as one of the best performances of the year for her leading role in Hari Sama's El sueño de Lu / Lu's Dream.