Directed by Guillermo Escalon (El Salvador/Canada, 1994, 110 minutes)
In Suchitoto, a village in El Salvador, Alejandro Cotto (1927-2015) celebrates his 63rd birthday while the youth celebrate the end of the country’s nightmarish civil war. Cotto, a pioneer of Salvadoran cinema, is convinced of his great talent, although he has only directed a few films in his life. In Alejandro, Cotto speaks to Director Guillermo Escalón about cinema in the name of Third World artists who wrestle with a paucity of means and sometimes invent imaginary worlds to ward off depression and sadness. Cotto recounts not only the greatness and misery of his career, but also the horror of war, the fate of his village, and the path of his dreams. After all, it takes a big dreamer like him to envision making “great cinema” in a village. Escalón uses excerpts from Cotto’s films extensively, demonstrating the versatility of his filmography, including his last film, Universo menor (begun in 1979 and still unfinished) in which he captured the popular rural festivals of El Salvador, a subject of great passion.
Screening at Row House Cinema.