So due to circumstances beyond our control, the pandemic means that we’re not reporting on the latest flicks from Sundance 2022, but in lieu of a live-feed from Park City, a few helpful publicists have been in touch to provide access to the wares on show. One minor gem is Carlos Cardona’s Chiqui, a short, 30 minute drama dealing with the topic of immigration, but in a warm and fuzzy way that makes it a great calling card for both writer/director and some fresh acting talent.
The year is 1987, and Chiqui and Carlos are on the move; having forsaken their native Colombia, they’re relocating to New Jersey initially, and then to a friend’s motel in lovely Montauk Point. She’s pregnant, and has to put her dream of being an air-hostess on hold while he’s struggling to find the kind of work that might support a family. Their bonds are tested; the American Dream can seem like a long way away when you can’t get any legal work…
Chiqui is a small and personal piece, but there’s lots to engage a wider audience, with well-chosen music and video-clips; the appearance of Kim Cattrall classic Mannequin on the couple’s tv set reflects the gap between the fairy-tale and the tougher reality they face. Brigitte Silva and Sebastián Beltranini both shine as the director’s parents, and as a film, Chiqui never has a dull moment through its scrupulous, heartfelt examination of the uphill struggle they face.
Chiqui screened as part of the Sundance Indie Episodic Program, and it’s a refreshingly honest view of life back in the 80’s. There’s certainly enough mileage here to suggest follow-up episodes should be in order, but for now, this is exactly what Sundance does best; connecting exciting new talent to jaded audiences looking for something new and original.
Chiqui screened as part of the Sundance Indie Episodic Program in Jan 2022.