Mundo Grúa (Crane World)

Director: Pablo Trapero
Screenwriters: Pablo Trapero

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


Pot-bellied and middle-aged, Rulo is a trainee for a crane operating job in the Buenos Aires construction business. Okay, he may not seem a likely hero for a young Turk making his first feature. But the choice pays off, and Pablo Trapero delivers one of the most affectionate views of working-class life seen on film since the heyday of neo-realism.
Excited by his imminent employment, Rulo welcomes optimism into his hard-luck life. He inhabits a house that’s little more than a shack and struggles to support his mother and discipline his deadbeat son.

Rulo begins to court Adriana, a middle-aged sandwich maker, who remembers him as the rock star he was in his youth. Just as things are looking up, though, they’re looking down. Destiny intervenes in Rulo’s big break. Slowly, inexplicably, and unpredictably, the audience is hooked. When have we seen a film with this much heart? As this unknown world comes to life, young director Trapero fixes his lens on the disappointments plaguing his society and generously offers hope for the future. Mundo Grua’s cast of nonprofessionals and bare-boned technical flair announce a new moment in Argentine cinema, one that fulfills the early promise of the New Latin American Cinema (as producer Lita Stantic, who was Maria Luisa Bemberg’s collaborator, clearly knows).

Mundo Grua is a black-and-white microscope of a movie that may well do for Argentina what Central Station did, in technicolor, for Brazil.

Screening Details

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