Director: Luis Argueta
Powerful and promising this first feature film from Guatemala's fledgling film industry is also Luis Argueta's directorial debut.
It's J954, young Neto is on the verge of adulthood as his country is on the verge of chaos-the distant rumble of the CIA-backed coup against the democratically elected government of president Jacobo Arbenz is about to become a furious roar.
The encroaching war zone extends to Neto's family and everyday life. His father is intent on instilling a sense of homeland in the boy whilst Uncle Ernesto encourages his questioning free-spirit, and overnight his classmate sweetheart and her family disappear. But wrapped in this world gone mad are Argueta's tender observations of the innocent pursuits of adolescence irrepressible in the face of upheaval the chubby Neto's half -hearted attempts at bodybuilding his spying on the passionate clinches between the Indian maid and her revolutionary lover, the trips with chums to ineffectively ogle a girl's ballet class, and his long cherished dream of flying a hot-air balloon without his father's help.
With a tender and breezy charm that belies it fiercely humanist heart, The Silence of Neto captures the resilient spirit of youth coming-of-age in an age torn by nightmarish terrors.