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FilmFest DC

Washington DC's international film festival includes several Latin American films in this year's lineup. Here's a couple highlights, and be sure to check out their website for more:

Heliopolis (The Violin Teacher), Brazil
After failing to be admitted into the renowned São Paulo Symphonic Orchestra, Laerte, a talented violinist, is forced to give music classes to teenagers in a public school in Heliopolis, the biggest favela of Brazil. His path is full of difficulties but the transforming power of music and the friendship arising between the professor and his students open the doors into a new world. Based on a true story.

La delgada línea amarilla (The Thin Yellow Line), Mexico
The Hollywood Reporter dubbed this film an "uncommonly effective road movie." The task seems straightforward enough: Paint a yellow dividing line on a 200-kilometer stretch of highway between two towns in a remote desert (or perhaps desertified) area of northern Mexico, and do it in 15 days. The job is a godsend for the project's foreman, Antonio (called Toño), after years of self-imposed exile in menial, off-the-grid work. Played by the commanding Damián Alcázar, magnetic even in this down-and-out state, Toño plays the moral core to his crew of "formers" (circus manager, truck driver, and thief) and a young runaway. The ensemble cast of mostly veteran Mexican actors hits the believable note every time with humor that comes naturally and hard-won trust. 

Washington, DC: April 14 - 24. Full lineup and details here.