Opening night of the Chicago Latino Film Festival delivered every sight, sound, taste, and emotion that a cinematic soiree should.
Beginning with the Chicago premiere of writer / director Raúl Marchand’s hilarious and nostalgic Broche de Oro: Comienzos, the evening showcased all the vibrancy and excitement that makes Latino culture such an excellent part of life in America.
Reel Chicago Staff Writer / Cinematographer Joey Filer and I grabbed a camera and microphone to capture as much of the action as we could. We were faced with a delightfully difficult challenge.
Before the screening of Broche de Oro: Comienzos, Manchan declared that his film would make us laugh, cry, and then laugh again. “Wait until you see the last twenty minutes,” he said. “They are hilarious.”
He wasn’t kidding.
Broche de Oro: Comienzos opens with a vision of Puerto Rico that reminds me of a West Virginia morning: beautiful, sweeping mountain vistas drenched in slow-rolling fog without a beach or a palm tree in sight.
The story follows a group of elderly seniors who wield the kind of charisma that makes everything they do fun to watch, especially when they argue, which they do a lot. These guys could give the characters of Seinfeld and Friends a run for their money.
The part of the film meant to invoke tears does just that, although afterwards both Joey and I denied that we cried.
From there, it was on to the Streeterville event venue Chez for music, food, drink, and dance. Empanadas and chicken skewers go perfectly with reggaeton and cumbia. Also, wine, tequila, and beer.