Historias Mnimas (2002) - Minimal Stories aka Intimate Stories
Directed by Carlos Sorin
A film that gives you exactly what it says, minimal stories, each set around journeys, each small but wonderfully humanistic tale leading to slight changes in the lives of the central characters.
Maria, a young mother who lives in the sparsely populated town of Fitz Roy has to travel to San Julian to take part in a low budget T.V. quiz show. Justo, also from Fitz Roy is an old man who is treated like a child by his son and daughter in law, when he hears from a friendly lorry driver that his long lost dog Badface has been spotted in San Julian he decides to make his way there. Last but not least, Roberto is a salesman; hes been travelling the long roads and vast open plains of Patagonia for twenty years, every day is a journey for him but this day is special.
Justo sneaks away from his home and family like a thief in the night, he knows his son will never let him go so this is his only option. Badface is his life and for reasons revealed later in the film, he feels the need to seek forgiveness from his dog.
Roberto has had a birthday cake made for the son of a young widow; he has feelings for her and obviously sees this as an opportunity to spend some time with her. Although impressed with the cake it isnt quite as perfect as he would like, this leads to a series of trials and tribulations until he is at last satisfied with the end result.
Marias trip is the easiest, we dont share the journey but meet up with her at the garish Multicoloured Casino, the T.V. quiz she will appear on.
Connections and crossings are made between the characters throughout the film whether directly or indirectly, for instance Roberto picks up Justo in a caf and gives him a lift to San Julian, or while staying in a depot overnight, Justo switches the telly on as Multicoloured Casino starts with Maria as a contestant.
There are several other little things that tie the stories together as well, one of them is turtles but to explain further would necessitate adding spoilers. The characters may also be connected in a roundabout way, certainly Justo and Roberto but this is left vague and open to interpretation, it would certainly make the overall story more fate driven.
The vast wild desolate windswept plains of Patagonia and the beautiful skylines are integral to the journeys, especially for Justo who starts his 300 km journey on foot, you get the impression that this is one of the few areas of the world where you could still get truly close to nature.
Historias Minimas is a delightful film, no action, no violence, only a hint of romance and one of the scariest nurses Ive ever seen (and Ive seen quite a few in my time), it gets a big thumbs up from me. If you give it a chance, Im sure youll also appreciate and enjoy it.
BBFC rated 15?
R2 dvd available from Optimum Releasing. R1 dvd available soon from New Yorker Films.