Saturday, November 04, 2006

'Punto y Raya'

Separated and united by the Morón river, their membership to their country's national army, their uniform, their human nature: such is the destiny of Cheito and Pedro, two soldiers, the first from Venezuela the other from Colombia. For distinct reasons they find themselves fighting a nationalistic informal war in the frontier that separates their two countries, the Morón river - a place where threat is part of the natural setting and the dangerous species attacking your life can be anything from a river animal to a soldier of the 'other' country, to a paramilitary group member to a drug dealer, to a local yound girl threatening to stab you.

The poor neighborhoods of urban Venezuela, the equally poor villages of the Colombian Andes, the inhospitable jungle along the river - home but also place of death to drug dealers, paramilitaries and soldiers alike- provide the setting for this drama. But 'Punto y Raya' goes well beyond a mere mapping of this unstable, yet unknown to many, region of the world, to try and comprehend the complex human nature. Who is the true enemy, really?

No definite answer to be found in a movie where the expendability of human life takes all possible forms and where friendship becomes supreme virtue in the form of the bond that Cheito and Pedro will ultimately establish. Yet the blank look at the eyes of the protagonists before the End seems to suggest that their real enemy is not the one in uniform. The most powerful weapon is not a gun. And the most fatal biting is not as poisonous as the innate desire for conquest which transforms human beings to savage animals - instantly.

Relax. 'Punto y Raya' is not the unbearable, blood-soaked movie you may imagine it is. Director Schneider balances this dramatic account with a good dose of humor and comedy elements. If only there was a similar easy way out for life's most perennial dilemmas! Maybe then fewer societies would be torn apart. And perhaps less suffering would result from wars. But that would not be our world. It would be a magical one, right? Or maybe not?

Note: As I was watching the movie I was constantly reminded of a short story by Greek writer Antonis Samarakis titled "The river" ("To Ποτάμι") in "Hope Wanted" ("Ζητείται Ελπίς"), a story about soldiers, a river, and the quest for hope.


ιχνηλάτης said...

He/She blogs well who thinks well.

Very well indeed.

Keep thinking. Keep blogging.

Pixie said...

I am amazed on the things that I can learn from you.There is always something knew that you introduce.I would not object to a magical world!

Anastasia said...

Thank you very much for your kind comments both of you! Pixie, I wouldn't either object, we can only hope!

Anonymous said...

Gracias por la reseña de esta película Anstasia. No la he visto, ni recuerdo haberla visto anunciada desde que se estrenó en el 2004. Leí algunas opiniones encontradas en IMDb, aunque la mayoría dice cosas buenas de ella. Parece que el cine latinoamericano está dando qué hablar recientemente y hay que apoyarlo, buscaré Punto y Raya para tener mi propia opinión.

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