L’incrédule: Immigrant Song

Latin American immigrants in Montreal struggle with their sense of place in this low-key but well-acted and thought-provoking drama.

Federico Hidalgo (Silent Love, Imitation) directs this drama about the difficult experience immigrating to another land, even when you’re among your “own” abroad.

L’incrédule tells the story of Tomas (a terrific Marcelo Arroyo) and Sofia (Marcela Pizarro), a Latin American married couple living in Montreal, who befriend two newcomers to Canada, Luisa and Mariano (Francesca Barcenas and Claudio Caceres). Out of pity, or perhaps out of genuine sympathy, Tomas and Sofia agree to help the young couple start a business in Montreal, by opening a so-called Charuflauta agency.

This Charuflauta business, however, is a vague affair. None of them seems to truly understand what it entails, and ultimately it seems to boil down to a folk practice meant to help people overcome their loneliness. No one really understands how to perform a Charuflauta either. Although Tomas and Sofia have been living in Canada for a long time, they begin to be possessed by nostalgia and somewhat regret to having agreed to help the adrift Luisa and Mariano. Ultimately the two couples are drawn apart by what is supposed to unite them: their cultural heritage, which none of them truly understands the meaning of.

As a whole, L’incrédule is a prosaic fable about four very sad and very misunderstood people who, for one reason or another, have decided to immigrate. The film works like a play; there is little importance given to plot, and more to philosophical musings such as what is home, and what does “helping our own” mean. The movie doesn’t stand out in any particular way, but it presents a good meditation on what it is to start your life over outside of the motherland, and trying to blend in while holding on to your roots. ■

L’incrédule opens Aug. 10.

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