Contemporary World Cinema | 2016 | 89 minutes
SIFF Says:Arrested after a violent gas-station robbery, troubled Santiago youth Tano (Andrew Bargsted) is remanded to the custody of his father Javier (Francisco Pérez-Bannen), an auto mechanic living in the small mountain community of Wallmapu. Soon the wayward teen befriends shy, awkward Cheo (Eliseo Fernández), whose indigenous Mapuche community fights against the displacement and destruction wrought by a massive local pulp mill. The connection between the two boys quickly deepens against the pressures of schoolyard cruelty and the troubled home lives of each, forcing a reckoning in either boy with himself and the world around him in this extraordinary debut feature from writer and director Claudia Huaiquimilla. Following her multiple-award-winning short “San Juan, the Longest Night,” Huaiquimilla, along with co-writer Pablo Greene, brilliantly weaves together themes both grand and intimate—a rich human tapestry played against an urgent social and environmental crisis. Rooted in strong performances and assured direction, Bad Influence is a heartfelt call to arms touching both heart and conscience.
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