By Mónica Delgado
Litigante is a film about women and could easily be jump (in a marketing way) in the bandwagon of the feminist struggles of current times. However, it isn’t a political film, nor it does propose some premises in times of the me too movement, or less. It also isn’t a film about sexism. What it is, is a measured melodrama from the portrait of a woman who’s affected by the cancer of her mother, and a trial she’s been subjected to by the state, because of a state bidding of a public work. And it has a plus, the discovery of a great actress, writer Carolina Sanin, who appears in a tête-à-tête with his fictional mother, actress Leticia Gómez, also mother of the filmmaker.
This Colombian film is a classically structured melodrama with measured ambitions. Lolli stays in the limits of his last work, Gente de bien (2015) and centers in describing the difficulties of a woman who raises a small child, and also posing a duel of actresses, from the story of this lawyer who suffers and struggles in front of a hostile mother, who criticizes everything. Two women separated by generational issues and emotional debts, something that in some way evokes the themes of guilt and resentment towards maternity that emerge in a film like Autumn Sonata (this of course, is only a comparison between the feelings that are expressed in some feminine characters).
This second feature from Colombian filmmaker Franco Lolli was the film which opned the Critics’ Week. His last film, was also premiered in this parallel space to the official sections of Cannes, something which allowed to view a Colombian cinema that opens its way in international festivals, and that continues with a good streak, despite a big discussion in the country about the problems of exhibition that can’t connect Colombian cinema with the big audience, despite a law that is 10 years old now.
Beyond this context of the premiere, Litigante talks about feminine fears, loneliness, from fear to disease, but does so from the a view of the social class where these women belong. This is why, a certain conservative halo is perceive in the issues at hand, that only refer to the sentimental or emotional, leaving other elements out, and a sensation that one could’ve tell something more about what unites or separates these two women in the interior journey from mourning to loss.
Critics’ Week: Opening Film
Director: Franco Lolli
Script: Franco Lolli, Marie Amachoukeli, Virginie Legeay
Cinematography: Luis Armando Arteaga
Editors: Nicolas Demaison, Julie Duclaux
Colombia, 2019, 97 mins