The first movie that I can say I outright liked, and can recommend from the 2001 Latino Film Festival, was Mexican director Oscar Urrutia Lazo's "Rito terminal."A unique and mazy movie, "Rito terminal" follows a young photographer on an assignment to observe some indigenous Indians' festival ceremonies, a death of one and disappearance shifts the community's events to the morbid and occultically spooky. He sees things that aren't there and witnesses things unintended for his eyes, so when he returns home, he has lost his shadow, and must go back under the discretion of witch-like Indian, to find it and try to understand what he has become a part of. If it wasn't already apparent in "Ave MarIa," "Rito terminal" shows the disdain of the church's contempt for Indians. Technically speaking, the biggest flaw of "Rito terminal" is the subtitles; it is not so much small innaccuracies in what is being subtitled, but the mistakes in both grammar and syntax, that have several segments badly assembled. Sometimes it is "saying" incorrect things, and that too would leave some questionable speculations for those who don't understand Spanish. (I was lucky; though I am not fluent, I was conditioned enough to pick up on the errors.) José Navarro composed a moody and effective score to accompany Lazo's original story. Although "Rito terminal" decides to reach for the inexplicable at the end, it is somewhat uneven and definitely perplexing (especially the coeval visions and experiences of the protagonist), but it is still fascinating to watch. Even if it doesn't deliver all of its possible worth, it is still transfixing, and minimally succeeds in the same "unanswerable" juego as "Lost Highway."
With Guillermo Larrea, Soledad Ruiz, Angeles Cruz, Rafael Velasco, Fabiana Perzabal, and Guillermo Rios.Final Verdict: B-.