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Comala – TIFF21

comala

Comala – TIFF21

Synopsis:
A man sets out to reunite with the scattered family members of his dysfunctional family and pick up the pieces of his absent father’s story as a failed hit man murdered a few years back in a Mexican border town.
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A filmmaker seeks the truth about how his father came to be a hitman in . Gian Cassini was shocked to read about the 2010 assassination of El Jimmy, a small-time hitman in Tijuana since the murdered hitman was his own estranged father. This prompts Gian to speak to his family members, including mother Eloisa, half-sister Nannette, and grandfather Gustavo, to learn the truth about El Jimmy and he ended up killing people for money.

Comala is a documentary by filmmaker Gian Cassini about his own family, particularly his father Jimmy, whom he only had intermittent contact with growing up. Comala takes its name from the central town of Juan Rulfo's 1955 novel “Pedro Páramo,” which involves a family's quest for personal truth. That pretty much sums up the just of what this documentary is about, as Gian Cassini seeks out his extended family members to learn of his father's history.

If anything, Comala successfully tries to hook you in from the start, as Gian Cassini is interviewing his mother Eloisa, who refuses to believe that her late ex-husband would ever kill people. This leads you to believe that Comala is going to be a gripping true crime story. However, we instead get a much more personal story of self-discovery for director Gian Cassini, as he tracks down family members, who he never even knew existed until later in life. The end result is a documentary that is interesting, but frankly not as exciting as the initial set-up made it sound to be.

Comala is screening as part of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival


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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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