Song Without a Name
(Canción sin nombre)
October 5–December 20, 2020
Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Párraga, Lucio Rojas, Maykol Hernández,
An indigenous Andean woman searches the labyrinthine corridors of power for her stolen newborn in this atmospheric tale of institutional corruption and social alienation, set in a 1988 Peru wracked by political violence and economic and racial inequality. Giving birth in a bare-bones clinic that seems more prepared for death than life, the young Georgina discovers her child has simply vanished into the ether, with her pleas for information falling on disinterested ears. Only a young, shy reporter attempts to help, and his investigation uncovers corruption that could spiral into conspiracy. Shot in black and white in a suitably claustrophobic, eye-catchingly anachronistic 4:3 ratio, more suggestive of Eastern European dread than Latin American magical realism, Song Without a Name constructs a world of shadows and silence, of Kafkaesque doors that never open, mouths that never speak the truth, and answers that never come. “At once fact-based and the stuff of shadowed, surreal nightmares . . . shot, scored, and styled like the most beautiful of bad dreams” (Guy Lodge, Variety), Melina León’s striking debut feature bears a passing resemblance to Alfonso Cuarón’s acclaimed Roma due to its focus on indigenous women and its black-and-white cinematography, but its effect is far more melancholy and surreal.