My Friend from the Park
Directed by Ana Katz
While her filmmaker husband works in Chile, harried young mother Liz struggles to take care of her infant son. Feeling out of place amongst the tight-knit group of other parents at the park, doubted by her husband, and judged by her newly hired nanny, Liz is drawn to factory worker Rosa, a plain-talking single mother she meets at the swings one day. Despite Liz’s liberation upon finding a bold new confidante, the friends’ increasingly apparent class differences, along with swirling rumors about Rosa’s motives and muddy family situation, feed Liz’s suspicions that her new pal might be a sinister influence on her already fragile life.
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★★★½ review by MARTIN BRADLEY on Letterboxd
Parks might seem the perfect place for a pick-up. There's all those benches for starters, where a solitary individual can sit, alone, until some other solitary individual comes along, sits beside you and says hello. It's little wonder spies go there all the time, (at least in the movies). Of course, there are all kinds of pick-ups, the sexual kind being perhaps the most obvious and anyway, what's the chances of the person sitting next to you being a spy.
What happens in Ana Katz's excellent "My Friend from the Park!, (she co-wrote it, directed it and stars as one of the two women at the centre), could hardly be classed as a pick-up at all. Two women with young babies get to chatting at a kid's playground the way women in such a situation might. Five minutes later they are drinking beer and one of the them is asking the other if she can use her car but not before she has run out of the resturant without paying the bill.
If Katz's film isn't quite "The Hand that rocks the Cradle" it still should prove a warning about talking to strangers, even young women with babies. Less an outright thriller than a dark, psychological comedy Katz's film is horribly plausible as it depicts a world where a word out of place could have devastating consequencs. If there is a moral it's probably avoid parks altogether but if you must go into one then avoid eye-contact with anyone...and I mean anyone.
★★★★ review by Kevin Matthews on Letterboxd
A story all about the strain that can be placed on mothers, shown through the toll that it takes on our main character while she befriends someone who is a bit more easygoing with the whole concept, this is an impressive drama from director Ana Katz, who also acts in a main role, and also co-wrote the screenplay with Inés Bortagaray.
★★★½ review by Neil Fox on Letterboxd
1 in 3 films by women - film 45
★★★½ review by Chris Salt on Letterboxd
Either there's a lot of Argentinian films about the class divide or those are the only ones that international distributors think we'll be interested. Here, a tightly-wound middle class mother has to work to overcome her preconceptions about the working class woman she meets at the park and befriends. Katz plays with our own preconceptions too, keeping us guessing about Rosa's intentions for a while until the focus shifts late on in the film.
★★★½ review by brownsvillegirl on Letterboxd
STrange film about single mothers. A writer whose partner is away comes under the spell or power of two anarchic lower class sisters - Rosa & Renata - who take her coat, her money, try to take her car and then wander off with her baby son. She seems powerless to stop them crossing boundaries. Is it about post natal depression? Does she really want o be without her son? She resents her partner for being away and finds parenting difficult sometimes. Strange look of satisfaction on her face as they drive back at the end - triumphant. She has her 'friend' Rosa and two babies in the car. WhY an enigmatic film.
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