Latino Films this Weekend

In the Pit aka En el hoyo
Trailer: http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=340438

REVIEW

Literally and existentially down and dirty, “In the Pit” is an absorbing documentary about work and the transformation of men into laborers. Directed and shot with sensitive attention to detail by Juan Carlos Rulfo, the film takes us into a world apart, populated by members of the construction crew building the second deck of the Periférico beltway in Mexico City. For the city’s inhabitants, each of whom apparently spend an estimated 1,485 hours a year commuting, and mostly on public transportation, the construction is at once a nuisance and a possible solution.

For the most part, like construction sites everywhere, it is also hidden in plain sight. Mr. Rulfo takes a distinctly personal approach to his subject, eschewing issues of public policy, environmental impact or even much by way of factual information or history about the beltway. — Manohla Dargis , The New York Times

***

East of Havana

REVIEW

So much of American pop thrives on a bratty facsimile of courage that when you see the real deal, it’s a revelation. “East of Havana” is the real deal. Directed by Jauretsi Saizarbitoria and Emilia Menocal, it’s a nonfiction feature about young Cuban rappers exercising the artist’s prerogative to tell the truth in a country that muzzles free speech.

Although the film is set in 2004 during the weeklong run-up to the International Festival of Rap Cubano and in the shadow of Hurricane Charley, there’s no phony urgency. The filmmakers are mainly interested in hearing the music and learning about the musicians’ compelling personal stories. — Matt Zoller Seitz, The New York Times

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