Jean Gentil - FILMMAKERS IN PERSON
April 22, 2012
Jean Gentil is the second feature by the talented Mexican-Dominican husband-wife team of Israel Cárdenas (b. 1980) and Laura Amelia Guzmán (b. 1980) who share direction, screenwriting and production credits. The story of an unemployed Haitian accountant whose search for work and stability leads him further adrift and into the lonely jungle interior, Jean Gentil balances a restrained documentary realism with exquisitely contemplative cinematography and mise-en-scene that gives a depth of meaning to the film's every shot. Filmed in Haiti, just before the disastrous 2011 earthquake, as well as Guzmán's hometown of Santa Domingo, the multiple award-winning (Guadalajara, Jeonju) Jean Gentil is a lyrical portrait of human frailty and strength that offers its titular hero as a quiet emblem for a nation's struggle.