Icarus Films presents:
METAL AND MELANCHOLY
Dir. Heddy Honigmann, 1994.
80 min. USA.
Special thanks to Icarus Films
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 9TH – 8PM
TUESDAY JANUARY 22ND – 8PM
This is an offbeat "road movie" where acclaimed documentarian Heddy Honigmann travels with and discovers the stories of taxi drivers in Lima. In the 1990s, in response to Peru's inflationary economy, government destabilized by corruption and Shining Path terrorism, many middle-class professionals moonlit as taxi drivers using their own cars to weather the financial crisis.
Through the filmmaker's distinctive approach—"I don't do interviews, I have conversations"" Honigmann has explained—'Metal and Melancholy' learns how these part-time cabbies, including among others a teacher, a Ministry of Justice employee, a film actor and a policeman, manage to navigate Lima's congested, potholed streets in dilapidated cars whose survival techniques are fascinating as their owners.
After describing intimate relationships developed with their vehicles and ingenious methods used to thwart car thieves, the taxi drivers open up emotionally, relating heartfelt accounts of domestic adversity, love, life-threatening illness, romance, economically frustrated ambition, pain and suffering. "Life is hard, but beautiful," one driver sums up philosophically.
'Metal and Melancholy' occasionally steps outside the taxis for a heartrending visit to a Lima cemetery, to visit drivers' homes and meet their families, to contend with swarms of street vendors, including young children, and to snap personal portraits of cars and drivers.
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