The heart of the story is the relationship between Segundo, an Ayacucho born-teenager played by Junior Bejar Roca, and his father Noe, a retablo artist portrayed by Amiel Cayo.
They both live in a bucolic but poor place under the care of the family matriarch.
Segundo Paucar follows —with admiration— the work of his father, a retablo artist, who mentors him in the retablo's universe by sharing his knowledge so that he can carry on the family legacy.
Nevertheless, Segundo —destined to replace his father— is undergoing a sexual awakening.
Antonia —played by Peruvian actress and singer Magaly Solier— is Segundo's proud mother and the person that keeps the family united until an unexpected event disturbs the harmony at home.
Being more aware of this human aspect will signify the end of innocence and of a fanciful relationship with his father. The homophobia and discrimination against people of different sexual orientation appear in the previously peaceful place.
Most of the film tries to imitate the aesthetic of a retablo —the truck hopper, the door and window frames, and the hillside grotto—, which is an ingenious plastic resource.
The best scenes feature the main pair and, eventually, Segundo and his best friend.
Call for tolerance
Retablo makes an urgent call for tolerance and respect for diversity. It explores Andean communities' life, art, and cultural heritage, as well as love and violence —the cause of intolerance.
About the production
Retablo is a Peruvian-German-Norwegian co-production. The film was one of the five projects selected in 2013 by renowned laboratory at Sundance Film Festival —chaired by actor Robert Redford— where Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio was provided artistic and technical advice.
The production has received at least 23 awards
at the most important film festivals in Toronto, Berlin, La Habana, San Francisco, New York, Bilbao, Madrid, Sydney, Switzerland, Sweden, Vancouver, Chicago, Ukraine, and Houston, among others.
In Peru, the movie was commercially released on May 16, 2019, and screened at cinemas for seven weeks.
More than 59,000 people watched it in the Inca country.
It was also the first Quechua-language movie that was part of the official competition at Lima Film Festival.