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FINE POWDER

Argentina, 1996 (MIFF 1997, International)

Director: Estaban Sapir

Esteban Sapir's Fine Powder is a film with its own distinctive aesthetic. It gently oscil­lates between objects and image, seen from the perspective of a confused Jewish boy growing up in Argentina.

Apart from video games, there is little to inspire Tomas in his industrial neighbourhood of Villa Linch. He dreams of adventures in the far north of Argentina, free from the strictures of family life. Ana, his violin-playing girlfriend, is pregnant to him and his future looks as flat, bleak and changeless as the surrounding plains.

Blonde-haired Alma Martinez becomes the object of his infatuation. They become lovers, and she introduces him to Merkin, an unscrupu­lous drug dealer who entices him with promises of instant affluence. Tomas thinks he has finally found his ticket out; instead, his plans for wealth, power and adventure soon transform into blind alleys.

Suffused with the tender melancholy of inno­cence lost, of young lives struggling to transcend themselves, Fine Powder feels like a world discov­ered for the first time. Inspired and influenced by the likes of Goddard and Raul Ruiz, Esteban Sapir's highly stylised film is a visual and aural whirl of extreme close-ups, Dutch angles, exaggerated sound design and a penchant for the absurd and confounding. Fine Powder is utterly hypnotic.

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