Moises Sepulveda debut film is a beautifully observed study of a middle-aged woman who has spent the last fifty years hiding the fact that she can neither read nor write. Ximena is a lonely, sad moody woman who lives by her self in the shabby apartment that her father left her. She spends her day smoking and tending plants in her small garden virtually oblivious to the world that goes on around her. That is until an old friend, who used to read the newspaper to her, sends her daughter to enquire if Ximena would like her to read to her. A rather tetchy on/off relationship follows. Jackeline is a frustrated trainee teacher who can’t find a job but loves teaching so when she finds out that the older woman’s father has left her a letter which she has never been able to read, she offers to teach Ximena to read and write.
This wonderfully entertaining two hander stars Paulina Garcia who repeats her flawless performance as the lonely hermit Ximena first performed in Pablo Paredes play on which the movie is based. She recently won the prestigious Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival for her performance in Gloria (2013). The wonderfully expressive Valentina Muhr plays Jackeline. This delightfully touching movie is the latest example of the brilliant cinema coming out of Chile in the last few years, including No (2012), Post Mortem (2010) and Tony Manero (2008). Hopefully, following the success of Gloria, Illiterate (2013) may get a general release, if it does make every effort to see it, you will not disappointed.
|A tetchy relationship develops.|