Elefante Blanco – White Elephant
Yet another collaboration between director Pablo Trapero, and actors Ricardo Darín and Martina Gusman (the previous being Carancho last year).
This one is set in a slum settlement of Buenos Aires, where Darín’s priest and Gusman’s social worker attempt the thankless task of supporting and bringing hope to a vast group of forgotten people. As one person is helped, another slips through the net, and it all seems very pointless.
Darín’s character is battling with his own health issues, and his assistant priest (Jérémie Renier) also has guilt demons to contend with, yet for all that, Trapero hasn’t made a film wallowing in self-pity. Everyone does the best they can in horrendously difficult circumstances.
There are a few long scenes which are incredible, as the camera follows the priests about their daily business, walking up and down stairways and through the streets. It does leave you with the impression that you are there with them.
An engaging film.