“SONG WITHOUT A NAME”— A Personal Look at Peru

“SONG WITHOUT A NAME”

A Personal Look at Peru

Amos Lassen

Director Melina León weaves events and references from throughout Peru’s tumultuous 1980s into a film that shows the era’s political and economic anxieties through a personal lens. In Song Without a Name”, we  follow Georgina and Leo, who move from the mountains to Lima to give their unborn child a better chance at life. Immediately after the child’s birth, however, the baby disappears and no authority in the city is interested in helping.

The film’s black-and-white visuals are its most striking quality. We get the viewpoints of each character and are totally immersed into their world and struggles.

Pamela Mendoza gives a haunting performance as Georgina and it emphasizes her almost complete solitude in the strange place. We watch has as she walks through Lima’s streets, exhausted by her pregnancy and then by the loss of her child and are reminded of the humanity that is lost in upheavals. As the journalist Pedro (Tommy Parraga) is a measured, sympathetic presence. .

 

 

Stonewalled by a byzantine and indifferent legal system, Georgina approaches Pedro Compos, who uncovers a web of fake clinics and abductions – suggesting a rotting corruption deep within Peruvian society. Set in 1988, Peru is amid political violence and turmoil.

The film has won 30 international awards including “Best Film” at the Lima Latin American Film Festival and “Best Film by an Emerging Director” at the Munich Film Festival, the festival favorite period piece has garnered raves around the world.  It is Peru’s entry for the 2020 Academy Awards.

It all begins when Georgina wakes up in the early hours of the morning to walk with her husband, Leo (Lucio Rojas), into Lima from their shack in a coastal shantytown on the outskirts of the city. Because she has few alternatives, her late-stage pregnancy doesn’t deter her as she sits in the street selling potatoes to passersby. When she hears a health clinic’s radio ad offering care to pregnant women, it sounds like a miracle. But once Georgina gives birth to her daughter, the clinic takes the child off for some supposed medical tests. In an instant, her life is upended.

 

 

The only person who lends Georgina a sympathetic ear is Pedro, who, as a gay man, understands what it means to be an outsider, though he initially tries to pass her story off to someone else, as he’s reporting on a paramilitary death squad whose handiwork he sees early in the film. Just when we think that León is going to take the film into conventional investigative thriller, it explores loss and pain on an intimate and personal scale. We  see this through the despair on people’s faces and through the formal touches that reflect it.

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The characters have to move on from the kidnapping without truly wanting to because they need to eat and pay rent. We see Georgina’s devastation in one long take where the mother is taken out of the clinic but continues pleading and crying, unseen, from the other side of the door. She is determined not to go away, and the scene fades to black with painful slowness and she seems to be prolonging the transition through force of will.

 

 

BONUS FEATURES

 

·       Video Introduction by director Melina León

·       Bonus Short Film — Sin Cielo (Directed by Jianna Maarten Saada | United States | Spanish with English subtitles | 25 minutes) — Teens pursue love in a Mexican border town where violence may be inescapable.

  

PROGRAM INFORMATION

 

Type: DVD/Digital (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu)

Running Time: 103 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Screen

Audio: 5.1 Surround Sound/2.0 Stereo

Language: Spanish and Quechua with English subtitles

 

About Film Movement

 

Founded in 2002, Film Movement is a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide including the Oscar-nominated films Theeb (2016) and Corpus Christi (2020). Film Movement’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci, Ettore Scola and Luchino Visconti. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com. Visit www.filmmovementplus.com for more information about Film Movement Plus, the new subscription streaming service from Film Movement.