(Photo : Hangar Films)
"La Playa DC" will be Colombia's submission for the 2014 Academy Awards' Foreign Language Film competition.
Juan Andres Arango's film tells the story of Tomas, an Afro-Colombian who becomes a barber to help stabilize his life in an often hostile Bogota. In the process, he engages on his first romance and tries to help his younger brother Jairo overcome an addiction problem.
The film, which made its debut at the Cannes' Film Festival Un Certain Regard section stars Luis Carlos Guevara as Tomas, James Solís as his older brother Chaco, and Andrés Murillo as Tomas' younger sibling Jairo.
The film has picked up a few reviews thus far; most of the reaction has been positive.
The New York Times' Nicholas Rapold reviewed the film back in July and stated, "Mr. Arango García's camera, however, casually observes several moments - like Tomas's bold make-out sessions with a girl at the mall or some more anonymous bumping and grinding at a dark club - with a spontaneity that rings true."
Neil Young of the Hollywood Reporter was impressed by the film and concluded that the film "introduces the latest bold directorial talent from Latin America."
Diego Costa of Slant Magazine was less favorable and gave the movie two out of five stars. He writes, "As subtle as the actors' faces are in Arango's film, some of the dialogue and situations can feel like forcibly planted moments in the script in order to show 'racism,' 'alienation,' or a character's 'coming into his own.' The film only feels interesting when it focuses on looking at what the characters aren't doing and listening to what they aren't saying."
The film represents the 22nd time that Colombia submits a film for the foreign language film category. The country has never been nominated at the Oscars.