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Contemporary Selection
Such is Life in the Tropics

Ecuador’s submission to the foreign-language Oscar race is a smartly scripted and well-crafted thriller about a young man attempting to evict 250 families squatting on his inherited land.

Violence is ever-present in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, a product of the anger of those with no voice. Emilio (Andrés Crespo) was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and recently inherited a plot of land inhabited by a community of families. In order to force their eviction, he hires an agent to help – the same double-crosser who has been collecting money from the squatters in order to supposedly improve their living standards. 

The squatters are not willing to let go of the land – which is all they possess in this world – without putting up a fight. Their leader is willing to negotiate but talks are guaranteed to be tense on either side. Meanwhile, Emilio is caught up in his own dramas over a stray bullet that accidentally killed a person. What results is a disconcerting depiction of what can result from fiscal inequality.

Sebastián Cordero
Andrés Crespo, Antonella Valeriano, Daniel Adum Gilbert, Diego Cataño, Erando González, Maya Zapata & Victor Arauz
Spanish with English subtitles | 2016 | 100 min | Thriller | Ecuador/Mexico/Germany
18+ (exemption)
Nuanced and lacerating
Silver Ariel (Best Latin-American Film), Ariel Awards 2017
Miami Intl Film Festival 2017
Platino Award (Best editing), Platino Awards for Iberoamerican Cinema 2017

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