Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Kinderfilmfest / 14plus

A Dios Momo



Although Obdulio is just eleven years of age, he too must contribute to his family’s livelihood, and so he sells newspapers. Although he is a good salesman, he has no idea what is written in the papers he distributes every day, because he can neither read nor write. He discovers a teacher, however, in the shape of a night watchman working at a publishing house. Not only does his tutor teach him how to write, he also manages to convey an un­der­standing of the importance of language, and introduces him to the world of books. Obdulio has developed a passion for the songs of the Murgas – a type of carnival popular in Uruguay. The satirical lyrics of these Murgas are sung during carnival processions and are accompanied by three important drums, or bombos, platillos and redoblante, as they are known. The texts of the songs comment on the day’s events, unleashing a mixture of mild and flagrant verbal disrespect that discharges itself in tumultuous dancing. The multi-layered nature of the language, the sometimes completely anithetical meanings of certain words, and the power of imagination – the night watchman opens up a whole universe to Obdulio that the boy never even dreamed existed. And then the carnival with its processions, parades and celebrations; its frenzied drumming and fantastic song lyrics, comes to an end, and life goes back to normal for a newspaper boy who has now learnt the power and magic of language. But for Obdulio, things will never be the same again.

Uruguay 2005, 109 min


Leonardo Ricagni


Mathias Acuña
Jorge Esmoris
Marcos da Costa
Washington Luna

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Fabrication Films