Obdulio is an 11-year-old Afro-Uruguayan
boy who lives with his grandmother and sells
newspapers for a living while he cannot read or write.
Obdulio is not interested in going to school until he
finds out that the night watchman of the newspaper's
office is a charismatic magical "Maestro"
who not only introduces him to the world of literacy
but also teaches him the real meaning of life through
the lyrics of the "Murgas" (Carnival Pierrots)
during the mythical nights of the irreverent and provocative
With a poetic nod to Fellini, Leonardo
Ricagni uses the carnival atmosphere to transport the
viewer to a magical place where realism and surrealism
live side by side in Uruguay—and what a wonderful
place to be. With sweeping directorial vision and gorgeously
shot with rich, vibrant colors, A DIOS MOMO achieves a
rich visual and spiritual sensibility unparalleled today.
– Shaz Bennett AFI Fest 2005
STARRING: Jorge Esmoris, Mathias Acuna,
DIRECTOR: Leonardo Ricagni
WRITER: Leonardo Ricagni
PRODUCERS: Raul Pochintesta
NICHES: Afro-Latino, Coming of Age, Literacy
HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES
"Arriving on wings from Uruguay with hope and heart spilling from every frame is "Goodbye, Momo," Leonardo Ricagni's documentary-textured fairytale about an illiterate boy who dreams of soccer glory while hawking papers on the streets of Montevideo.
It begins by invoking De Sica's "Shoeshine" in all its gritty neo-realist resonance, but soon morphs into the magic surrealism of Fellini's "Amarcord." What brings it home is the specific flavor of of its place, nudged into gently soaring folkloric poetry by an annual 40-night-long community-wide Carnival.
One lesson Ricagni learned well from De Sica and the Italians is that casting the right non-professional is half the story. In this case, it's Mathias Acuna's Obdulio, who lives with his grandmother and younger sisters in a leprous-walled hovel, manfully supporting them all. He gets magical help when the mythical carnival god Momo takes a shine to him, morphing from street mime to newspaper pressroom night maintenance man and writing song lyrics that help Obdulio's life take off (into literacy!) as he sparks the fortunes of simpatico street performers into whose mouths he puts the god's lyrics. A charmer of a kid in a charmer of a movie." By Jay Carr - AMNewYork Movie Critic
35mm rental:Please inquire.
DVD sale: $245
DVD bonus film: Candombe