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La Familia DVD Review

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“La Familia” is a hard-hitting drama.

“La Familia” (AKA “The Family” revolves around an unruly young boy (Pedro) and his single dad (Andres). Pedro spends his time with his pals on the tough streets of an area in Caracas, Venezuela known as the block. His father, meanwhile, works hard for very little, but scrapes by by any means necessary. When Pedro kills a young boy who was mugging him out of self-defense, Andres takes his son and flees knowing that violent retribution awaits Pedro if he sticks around.

Writer/director Gustavo Rondon Cordova certainly pulls no punches in “La Familia” as he shines a light on the dark and violent realities of Venezuela with its lawlessness, unfortunate economic situation, and the lack of education. It’s all told in a very blunt and straight forward, but that’s the point as Cordova strives to make this a grounded and gritty slice of realism.

At its heart though, this is a story about family as the title suggests. While the movie certainly is a commentary on Venezuela, it’s also a character study about a father and son. The two don’t really get along all that well at the start of the film, but over time, it becomes clear that the father is doing everything for his son and that Pedro soon realizes his father was right to do what he did for his own survival. Could there have been more conversations and connections on screen between the two characters? Sure, but Cordova seems intent on silence and long shots to do the talking for better or for worse.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1. How does it look? The well shot film shines in standard definition.

Audio Track: Spanish 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo. How does it sound? Both tracks are quality.

Extras: A short film by Ladj Ly “Les Miserables” (no relation to the musical) and Film Movement trailers

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May 6, 2019 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

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