Article by Elena Bernardi

Translation by Camilla Lippi

In Cambio Cambio (“Change Change”), one of the movies presented out of competition in the “Nuovi Sguardi Argentini” (“New Argentinian Perspectives”) section at the 41st Torino Film Festival, Lautaro García Candela paints a picture of Generation Z in a post-pandemic Argentina, somewhere between a thriller and a love story.

With an almost documentary approach, the camera explores the economic and tourist center of Buenos Aires, while in the background the voices of politicians and businessmen argue about the fate of the country. García Candela photographs the deep economic and social crisis of a nation through the experiences of two ordinary young men – born during Argentina’s greatest financial depression and raised in the midst of the recession – who turned the acceptance of their condition into the only way to survival. An example of cinema capable of representing today’s precarious youth without victimhood or moralism, a youth subject to the changing conditions of the capital.

They are called Arbolitos, that is, unauthorized money changers. Young men and women who, to the cry of “Cambio! Cambio!” lure tourists and locals to exchange pesos for dollars, the most sought-after currency and now a status symbol in Argentina. In fact, on Florida Street in Buenos Aires, contraband is one of the most coveted activities, given the dreadful economic crisis and the inflation that causes the market to continually crash and rise. So an entire country is forced to sell its currency to buy dollars: «What do you want to do with a 7 percent inflation? Buy dollars!».

A street like any other is the background to the story of one of them, Pablo (Ignacio Quesada), an aspiring musician forced to hand out flyers to passers-by, who bumps into Florencia (Camila Peralta), an architecture student which dreams of moving to France. It is with her and two longtime friends that Pablo decides to try his luck, using the impending currency crisis to his advantage and scraping together enough to escape.

The street is Cambio Cambio‘s vantage point and its inhabitants are its focus, the protagonists of an anthropological study of the strength and adaptability of those who do not enjoy the privilege of being able to decide to do the right thing. Told beyond any stigma, these precarious stockbrokers, with banknotes and calculators in hand, turn the world and the words of economists and experts into a concrete and community reality, resounding like an echo among the crowd on Florida Street.

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *