La perrera

Manolo Nieto

Tragicomedy about a failed student who tries at the insistence of his father to build his own house in La Perrera where just as many dogs live as men and very few women.

The mood of a seaside resort in the late season is probably the same all over the world, yet one cannot escape the impression that there are more dynamic places than the setting of The Dog Pound. The lethargic effects of the approaching winter in Manuel Nieto Zas' convincing début film is strikingly tied to the mental state of the protagonist, 25-year-old David. His girlfriend goes back to the city and he is left behind. Now he can't get on with his study, he starts building his own house - urged by his father in particular. Well, it is really his friends and acquaintances that start laying the foundations. David seems to be wrestling more with existential questions. In The Dog Pound, friendship seems to transcend love. The urban David, used to entertainment, is a prisoner of his way of life. With support from the Hubert Bals Fund, Nieto Zas, who had previously shown a short film in Rotterdam and operated as assistant director with Lisandro Alonso (La Libertad) and Pablo Stoll and Juan Pablo Rebella (25 Watts), has made a striking sketch of a marginalised generation and - almost paradoxically - a fresh portrait of a spot where nothing happens. With a beautiful and brave leading role by Pablo Riera, who adds a new dimension to the concept `slacker'. (GT)

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