Friday, June 16, 2023

Where the Tracks End

 "Where the Tracks End" (2023) is a simple low budget film from Mexico.  It is told in two parallel tracks, each emphasizing the importance of education.

The main story follows a young boy Ikal whose parents are involving in construction of the rail.  He never knows how long he will be in one location and has little interest in school.  He is lured by an older woman who teaches a group of children in ramshackle facilities.  He gets along with some of the other children and four of them visit a traveling circus.  He progresses with education, but has to move away.  

The other story shows a young man talking with teachers in the process of actually closing schools.  We come to learn he feels badly, but is powerless.  This story which is really in the future has a sort of sweet ending.

A simple movie, but requiring a delicate touch.  Here are some of the cast and crew.

Ernesto Contreras was director and executive director.  Won awards internationally including Sundance.  He has 26 film credits. He has also been a producer and an editor.

Javier Penalosa wrote the script.  He has 30 film credits.  He also writes children's and young adult literature.

Two composers handled the music.  Gus Reyes has 91 film credits and has also been involved in orchestral arrangements for rock bands.  His partner Andres Sanchez has 53 film credits and has been a bass player for several rock bands. 

Juan Pablo Ramirez was responsible for the cinematography.  He has 44 film credits and won a few international awards.

Jorge Macaya was the editor.  He has well over 50 film credits.

Adriana Barraza played Georgina, an older woman who encouraged children to get educated and had unique ways of piquing their interest.  She was nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in "Babel" (2006).  She has been a director and an acting coach (running a school for actors) with over 80 film credits including  "Amores Perros" (2000) and "Spanglish" (2004).

Kaaarlo Isaac played the young boy, Ikal with poor parents on the move.  The weight of the film really fell on him and he did an excellent job.  He has three film credits.

Guillermo Villegas played Hugo Valenzuela who was a school inspector. He has 39 film credits.

Blanca Guerra played a circus manager.  In 1983 she was member of the jury for the Moscow Film Festival.  She has 106 film credits. 

It is a simple movie in which you can identify with the curiosity of children.

Available with dubbing or sub titles on Netflix.

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