Past Meetup

SFIFF: The Cleaner

This Meetup is past

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Join us for the San Francisco International Filmfest!

Showtime is 6.15 pm. We'll meet a half hour before at the theater. Please note "Dinner" if you'd like to go for a bite after the show.

Tickets for this film have gone to rush status. If you haven't purchased a ticket already you might get in through the rush line, but it's not guaranteed and you need to be in line early - probably around 5.30 pm.

The Cleaner

A mysterious epidemic rapidly eviscerating Lima’s adult population—but sparing its children—has left the Peruvian capital a ghost ship of automated fountains, empty subway cars and eerily disembodied voices over PA systems. Some intrepid souls in respirator masks still wander its deserted streets, however, whether from habit or necessity, including Eusebio Vela (played by a stone-faced, quietly agitated Victor Prada), a solitary middle-aged bachelor who works as a forensic cleaner. While on the job, disposing of bodies and chemically scouring their environments, he finds a traumatized boy (Adrian Du Bois), the latest in a burgeoning number of orphans. When passing him off to harried civic authorities proves futile, Eusebio reluctantly brings the child home and begins searching for an adult relative who can take him. Meanwhile, almost wordlessly, a bond develops and a transformation ensues as paternal instinct bridges a once comfortable isolation. Writer-director Adrián Saba’s debut feature, a gently haunted and affecting study of social alienation and redemption, employs its bizarrely unpeopled cityscape (captured with studied composure by DP César Fe) as the operative metaphor for an inner barrenness—personified in Prada’s subtle performance, but ultimately extending to a civilization that has abandoned its children in unconscious retreat from reality.