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Historias Minimas (Little Stories) (15)

Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating: Two

SET in the wilds of Patagonia, South America, this quirky little road-movie follows the story of three people who, for different reasons, are making the trek from their tiny, rural town to the 'big' city of St Julien.

Don Justo (Antonio Benedictti) is the dignified, elderly owner of the village store, who ekes out his time watching the traffic pass by on the highway that runs outside his door.

His home life is comfortable but he is somewhat stifled by the patronising attitudes of his son and daughter-in-law, who run the shop.

So, on hearing the news that Badface, his runaway pet dog, has been sighted in St Julien, Don Justo decides to assert his independence by travelling to the city for a reconciliation with his four-legged friend.

'Borrowing' money from his son, he starts out on foot, but it is not long before he is picked up by a kindly stranger and his eventful journey begins in earnest.

Meanwhile, mouthy-but-good-hearted salesman Roberto (Javier Lombardo), is off on a mission of his own; to deliver a birthday cake to the child of one of his clients, on whom he has a massive crush.

Trouble is Roberto is not sure whether the child is a boy or a girl, which leads to fun and games as he tries to ensure that the cake will be the perfect gift.

Last, but not least, comes Maria (Javiera Bravo), a lonely housewife and mother, who learns that she has been picked to appear on a TV quiz show, filmed in St Julien. With baby in tow, she boards the bus that will take her to what she hopes will be her dream prize.

Told with a simplicity of style and vision, which allows the actors to shine without being the least bit showy, Historias Minimas draws in the viewer from the start; exploring the forces that shape human identity while dealing sympathetically with universal themes such as old age, ambition and romantic desire.

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