Tuesday, February 15, 2011
"Rage": Spanish thriller provides a twist on the immigration debate
Strand Releasing continues to find films that explore interesting variations of social and political controversies. The latest is “Rage” (or “Rabia”) from Spain and Colombia, director Sebastian Cordero, and producer Guillermo del Toro (also ThinkFilm). It's based on a novel by Sergio Bizio.
A wealthy family in Spain (the credits say San Sebastian, but it didn’t look familiar; I was there in 2001 and the Basque city is very wealthy) has hired a live-in maid Rosa (Martina Garcia), and they don’t completely trust her as a Colombian immigrant. So the film is kind of a mirror of American concerns with using immigrants to do work we don’t want to do. She has a gaunt and already weathered boyfriend Jose Maria (Gustavo Sanchez Parra) whom they fear comes over when they aren’t looking. Indeed he does. From Colombia himself, he doesn’t get along with his Caucasian boss on the construction site, who fires him. In a brawl that follows shortly, he socks and accidentally kills the foreman. He then hides out in the elderly couple’s mansion like a ghost, from moment to moment, decaying.
The couple’s family is in play: the older son had been paying attention to Rosa, setting up a love triangle, so that’s one potential second tragedy. But when Rosa gets pregnant (with Jose), the couple wonders if it should be responsible for the baby. Imagine how the same idea could play out with live-in caregivers or nannies in the U.S.
The film will be available in theaters and DVD in March 2009. I received a complimentary sample.
Strand's site for the film is here.
Wikipedia attribution link for San Sebastian circle beach picture, here