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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Maite Alberdi: Las Peluqueras (The Hairdressers), 2007

Las Peluqueras gana Premio Casa de América
no copyright infringement intended

Ana Luisa is single and runs a hairdressing shop, arranged in her living-room, she's done it for all her life. Maybe it has seen better days, this shop, but that was long time ago, so long that nobody can remember. She got old, Ana Luisa, and her shop is now just a poor old thing. There is a worker, Tato, a woman maybe ten years younger, maybe less, already old anyway, but still looking at the future with some kind of humor and fatality. The patrons are rare, most of them just the same age, coming there more for small talk. Young patrons also come, now and then, and you never know how they'll leave: their age or a bit older, a bit run-down? Most of the time nobody's there, only the two old friends, Ana Luisa and Tato. Someone comes with an unexpected piece of advice, why not distribute fliers to attract customers? Would it be good to have new clients? Who knows what they can do? Outside the neighborhood is changing its face, people are younger, their language and their ways are maybe too quick, too direct, but here inside the old shop, the old world is still present, in a washed-out version.

And still, there are moments when Ana Luisa tries a lipstick and goes out to feed the street dog that everybody else ignores.

Sad? Yes, but also warm, a strange mix, I agree: it smells like good old Santiago, with the afternoon tea and buttered bread, onces y pan tostado con mantequilla (as a commenter put it). Great work! It's Maite Alberdi, and Israel Pimentel, both wrote the screenplay, both directed the film, as for the actors, they are just Ana Luisa and Toda, and the others from that barrio Brasil in Santiago, all playing their life.

Ana Luisa es soltera: lleva 30 años levantándose temprano para abrir la peluquería ubicada en el living de su casa. Tato es casada: lleva 40 años levantándose aún mas temprano para ir al barrio Brasil y atender la peluquería de Ana Luisa. Peinados y cortes, es lo único que queda para ofrecer. La peluquería es su refugio en medio de un barrio que rejuveneció demasiado para los ojos de ellas. Entre quienes las visitan está Aurora, una ahijada que le ofrece a Ana Luisa una oportunidad para tratar de reactivar el negocio, el plan es simple: ella confecciona unos volantes para que los repartan en la plaza. Ana Luisa no ve el sentido de intentar algo así, Tato cree que no se pierde nada. En algo están de acuerdo: repartirlos significará aceptar a quien quiera ir por un corte, incluso a los jóvenes que según ellas maltratan el barrio.

(Maite Alberdi)



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