SFIFF: Apolitical animal - Page 2

Mexico's SFIFF thrillers aren't thrilling, but Cochochi turns loss into victory

Like a bifurcated Where Is the Friend's Home? (1987), Cochochi is a pleasantly disorienting trek through unfamiliar territory, trailing overburdened children who register their mounting worries with the stony expressiveness kids are brilliant at.

It's an unassuming naturalist document that, for all its hushed grace, crackles with anxiety and proudly maintains a layer of abrasiveness. In this respect, it reminds me of Mexican director Carlos Reygadas' gorgeous nutso-realist films, minus the impish provocation. Like Reygadas, Cárdenas and Guzmán use local, untrained actors to languorously stilted effect. The filmmakers relied heavily on the brothers for the film's story and dialogue, which is spoken in the Tarahumaran dialect of Raramuri.

Cochochi is no thriller and there aren't any robots, but it is the rightful destination of your dollar. Besides, if the current Under the Same Moon is any indication of distribution trends, there'll be plenty of opportunity for self-flagellation later.

COCHOCHI May 1, 6:30 p.m., Kabuki; May 4, 3:15 p.m., Kabuki; May 5, 6:30 p.m., PFA

SLEEP DEALER Mon/28, 9 p.m., PFA; May 4, 9:15 p.m., Kabuki; May 7, 6:15 p.m., Kabuki

LA ZONA May 3, 9:30 p.m., Clay; May 5, 2 p.m., Kabuki; May 7, 9:30 p.m., Kabuki

>SFBG goes to SFIFF 51: our deluxe guide

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