Federico Veiroj’s fourth feature examines the many, often contradictory layers that make up one’s persona, in this case, a single dad and acclaimed artist who must learn to balance family with creativity.
Contemporary World Cinema
Belmonte (Gonzalo Delgado) is preparing for an upcoming exhibition of his work at Montevideo’s National Museum. His paintings are sensual, fantastical, and at times colourful, yet all have a melancholic undertone. A divorced dad, Belmonte has of late been more obsessed with his relationship with his young daughter, Celeste, than with his work, especially as Celeste’s mom is about to have a baby with her new partner.
Federico Veiroj’s latest and fourth feature examines the many and often contradictory layers that make up one’s persona. Belmonte the artist has to navigate the family realm, and vice versa, and while these two parts of him are regularly at odds, they constitute the fullness and depth of who he is. A pessimist at heart, there is something luminous that emerges when he’s with his daughter, as if he’s arrived in a safe space where he allows the depths of his emotions to surface. It’s fascinating to observe.
As he did with Álvaro Ogalla on his 2015 film The Apostate, Veiroj achieves a rare intimacy by casting another close friend, co-writer Delgado, as Belmonte. This proximity allows him to honestly explore themes of duality: how to be a good role model for a child while in the throes of a crisis. Especially prevalent are the weight and necessity of balancing domesticity with the creative demands of being an artist while remaining true to oneself and to loved ones.