Cine Las Americas 18 Review: MR. KAPLAN

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

This closing night feature is, without a doubt, my favorite film of the festival.  This character-driven comedy/drama has an outstanding script with extraordinary performances by the cast.  It handles a delicate and sensitive subject matter beautifully, but still delivers on the comic side.  Written and directed by Alvaro Brechner, this Uruguayan film delivers on so many wonderful levels.

Jacobo Kaplan (Hector Noguera) has no respect whatsoever for his family.  Many years before, he fled Germany for South America to avoid capture during World War II.  Because his family ignores or refuses to acknowledge the sacrifices and hardships he and other Jewish people endured during that era, he simply cannot abide his wife and children anymore.  When he suspects that a former Nazi may have moved to his town for refuge, Jacobo makes it his mission to capture and turn him in.  He feels that this may be his last chance to become a Jewish hero and legend, much like Simon Wiesenthal before him.

I can see why this film was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at this years Oscars and also why it has received other acclaim from movie critics.  The programmers at Cine Las Americas definitely saved the best for last, and it made me happy that they were able to close the festival with this amazing film.

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