“La Cámera Obscura” at the Washington Jewish Film Festival

Photo courtesy of movie website

A woman disdained or ignored all her life for her homely looks finds a new life when a surrealist photographer comes to town in this Argentinian production, La Cámera Obscura. Part of the 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival, it is one of 62 films from 20 countries being hosted this year at eight different venues.

I admit that I chose “La Cámera Obscura” primarily because the AFI Silver Theatre on a Saturday night would be an easy location for me to get to. Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t imagine choosing any other film before it (though doubtless they’re all very good!) “La Cámera Obscura” spoke to me, perhaps because of the beautiful imagery, the fine acting and stage directing to portray the protagonist’s lonely life, and perhaps because I, too, know what it feels like to struggle with body issues and low self-esteem. Indeed, we all do. This was a very universal movie.

Though broad in its theme, this was also a Jewish film, which came out in well-placed threads…Russian backstory, the protagonist’s husband dawning a prayer shawl one morning, and more Klezmer than I’ve heard in a movie in a long time. 😛 The protagonist’s daughter sang a particularly haunting Yiddish number, portraying the standard and timely theme of longing.

This viewing of “La Cámera Obscura” was co-sponsored by the Embassy of Argentina, Lilith Magazine, and Women in Film and Video DC.

The Washington Jewish Film Festival continues through Dec. 13. Click here for more information.

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