18 September 2005 | jotix100
That dirty little war
Elia Schneider, the talented Venezuelan film director, surprised our expectations with "Punto y Raya", one of the highlights of the recent Latinbeat 2005 at the Walter Reade theater in New York. Not being prepared for what to expect, this movie proved to be a winner. The public, at its presentation the other day, seemed to enjoyed it a lot.
"Punto y Raya" is a film that presents us all the factions in a conflict that one hears nothing about in the press, and it has to do with the involvement of the Venezuelan and Colombian armies in their fight to control the drug trafficking between the two countries plus the leftist guerrillas and the paramilitary forces that are all fighting one another, especially in Colombia.
The film focuses on two soldiers, one, the disarming Cheito, a small time drug dealer in Caracas, who is caught selling and as a punishment is made to enroll the army and sent to the border with Colombia as part as the forces patrolling the area. Pedro, a Colombian recruit, who has joined the army to combat the drug problem, is an earnest man. Pedro believes in the system and is willing to give his best in order to see his country free of drugs.
Fate intervenes and both Cheito and Pedro form a bond, as they are caught by the different factions. Cheito is a chameleon, he can change colors and be convincing to whoever happens to be questioning him. Pedro, on the other hand, is an uneducated man whose honesty and integrity are in sharp contrast with the slick Cheito.
The film is delightful to watch because of the magnificent display of acting by Roque Valero, a great new talent to Latin American films and Edgar Ramirez, who is becoming known also to the American movie fans. Both actors deserve success in whatever they decide to do next because they prove in "Punto y Raya" they certainly can act and are totally convincing.
Congratulations of Elia Schneider for giving us a film that will stay with the viewer for a long time to come.