Cinematic Gems of Costa Rica
By Jennifer McLennan
The last decade has brought with it several Costa Rican films. Watching national productions is a great way for visitors to familiarize themselves with a new country – or for nationals to view their own culture through an artistic lens.
Caribe, 2004, Esteban Ramirez, Winner: Best Film – Huelva Spain Film Festival, Best Director – Trieste Film Festival
A young biologist receives an inheritance of land on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, and moves there with his family for relaxation and sunshine. He encounters anything but – and is forced to face environmental, socio-economic and familial crises as he becomes a part of the east coast community. The film provides an enlightening look inside the cultural climate of Costa Rica’s Caribbean.
El Camino, 2007, Ishtar Yasin Gutierrez, Winner: Pabellon Cine Del Sure – Cannes Film Festival, Jury’s Choice – Friburgo Film Festival, nine more international awards
El Camino, or “The Path,” outlines the story of a little girl and her brother, living in poverty and abuse in Nicaragua. They run away in search of their mother, who has crossed the border into Costa Rica seeking job opportunities, and encounter the harsh truths of life for homeless children along the way. Through artfully poignant cinema, El Camino spins a tale that is a cold reality for many young people in Central America.
A Ojos Cerrados, 2010, Hernan Jimenez, Patrons include: Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica, FundaCINE, Automercado y Cinergia.
This piece centers on the relationships within one Costa Rican family, largely between a young woman and her elderly grandparents. When life brings both granddaughter and grandfather to a crossroads, they must each choose a new path to follow; together, they travel to the eastern Caribbean coast seeking healing and renewal.This story is told with compassion, and a unique insight into bonds of love.