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Gente de bien. 2014. Colombia/France. Directed by Franco Lolli. Screenplay by Lolli, Catherine Paillé, Virginie Legeay. With Carlos Fernando Pérez, Alejandra Borrero, Santiago Martínez. In Spanish; English subtitles. 86 min.
Class struggle is a recurring trope of Latin American cinema, yet Franco Lolli’s nuanced and elegant direction brings complexity and insight to economic strife in this engrossing and naturalistic coming-of-age drama set in Bogotá. Gente de bien, which literally means “people of goodness” but is also slang for “the well off,” follows Eric, a 10-year-old boy (the nonprofessional Brayan Santamaría, in a wonderful performance) who is sent with his dog Lupe to live with his impoverished father, whom he barely knows. When his father’s boss, a woman of great privilege, decides with the best of intentions to take the boy under her wing, it causes awkward conflicts in the family.
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