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BARRIO

Spain, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Fernando Leon De Aranoa

Javi, Manu and Rai live in a none too salubrious part of Madrid. Their barrio (neighbourhood) is principally comprised of rundown, low-income housing and conse­quently the boys, in their mid-teens, spend more time hanging around the local tip than they do with their fam­ilies. Boredom, the constant quest for cash and diver­sion and the typically teen obsession with the opposite sex consumes their days. They all have dreams of how they will escape their situation but all too often reality comes crashing in.

Manu has taken a job as a pizza delivery boy hav­ing lied that he has his own transport. His comical attempts to get a large super-supreme to a far flung cor­ner of the city, on public transport, provides one of the sparkling comic interludes in the film. Rai too faces absurd situations when he wins a jet ski in a competi­tion, an item he has virtually no use for, that takes up an enormous amount of space in his family's already cramped apartment.

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