La Familia is a harrowing family drama from Venezuela

la familia

La Familia is one of those films that I’m glad Film Movement brought to my attention. Too often these films barely escape the shadow of City of God. I don’t know how much of that is cultural influence or my general summary of Latin crime movies. My problem with this one was I couldn’t tell whether it was a road movie or crime movie. Plus, the editing has no sense of urgency. The film’s inciting incident takes nearly 20 minutes to get started.

There is no wrong way to make a movie unless you leave the lens cap on. However, there are plenty of ways to test the audience’s patience and leave them looking for better fare to watch. If this one doesn’t do it for you, may I recommend La Ciambra? It covers the same kind of emotional feel, but does it as a far superior movie. I know that’s a little gauche to rag on a film in its own review, but it’s going to take this movie another 20 minutes to catch up.

That being said, Film Movement managed to find a short film that worked better than the feature. Head over to the special features and watch that instead. If not, watch both. I’m not the boss of you.


  • Bonus Short Film

la familia

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