Valentin

You would have thought that I'd be nearly fluent in Spanish, given the amount of Spanish and Latin American films I end up recommending in this newsletter.

But not only can I not speak a word - the only foreign language most of us Australians can speak is Kiwi and we struggle to understand some of them - I don't really like watching films with subtitles.
Which only goes to show how good the films are - and Valentin is another that had me transfixed.

The eponymous hero is an eight-year-old boy growing up in 1969 Buenos Aires and the film is essentially the story of his relationships with the grown-ups in his life.

These include his grandmother who he lives with after (seemingly) being abandoned by his mother; his uncle; his father and the latest in what we are to assume is a long list of girlfriends, and an alcoholic neighbour.

It is also the story of how an eight-year-old - obsessed with becoming an astronaut and having a family of his own - sees the world.

At the same time poignant, sad and very funny, it has an ending that leaves plenty of questions unanswered, not least of which is how a child so young can be such a fantastic actor.