Lips, The

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Subjects: Community, Drama, Film Studies, Health Issues, Latin American Studies, Poverty, Sociology, South American Studies, Women's Studies

Grade Level: Coll-Adult
Producer: Magic Lantern Films
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 100 mins
Country of Origin: Argentina
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2010
Available in French: No

Winner of the Cannes Film Festival Certain Regard Award for Best Actress, a prize shared by the film’s three leads (Adela Sanchez, Eva Bianco, and Victoria Raposo), this subtle, challenging mix of documentary and narrative filmmaking follows a trio of women who deeply inhabit their cinematic roles as social workers interacting with members of an impoverished rural Argentine neighborhood.

Facing poverty that threatens to overwhelm even the greatest reserves of calm, humor, and empathy, the three move into makeshift living quarters in a run-down hospital. They then begin the work of recording data on the needs of the community and getting to know each other, while trying to make their living quarters habitable… and still find time for an occasional night out.

Written and directed by Iván Fund and Santiago Loza, with cinematography by Maria Laura Collasso, The Lips is minutely observed, naturalistic, and haunting.

“What is unique about this film is the manner in which it weaves dramatic fiction film techniques with non-fiction documentary approaches… The film is a simple portrait of 3 women working together, revealing themselves to each other slowly and to the audience at the same time. Questions are left unanswered as they would be in a Fred Wiseman documentary. …it provides the kind of immediacy that has been popular for a number of years in the tightly framed close-ups found in the films of the Dardenne brothers among others. This is a method that gives the look of a documentary in fiction films. The film thus continues the contemporary tradition of docudrama. Recommended for Latin American studies and film studies areas as well as for anyone interested in contemporary Argentinian film.”   Recommended. - Educational Media Reviews Online

In Spanish with English sub-titles.


Winner, Un Certain Regard Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival
Nominatee, Heterodox Award, Cinema Eye Honors
Nominatee, Best Feature Film, Cinema Tropical Award
Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (BAFICI)
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival Festival de Cine de Lima Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijon
Hamburg Film Festival
Warsaw Film Festival
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Villeurbanne Festival
Reflets du cinéma ibérique et latino-américain

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