Review-Cocote

Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias is director/ writer and cinematographer for all the ritual scenes of COCOTE, a violent term meaning “neck” in the Spanish spoken in the Dominican Republic (implying this neck will be broken). A wealthy woman stands by her immaculately landscaped swimming pool and snaps her fingers. Workers silently appear out of nowhere (where they reside) to do her bidding. A gardener must go home for his murdered father’s funeral. Riding in the minibus on his way to where the poor people live, the loud boasting and bustling of the passengers, staking claims, dominate at least the airwaves; this becomes drowned out by the powerful sounds of nature, as someone slowly opens a window for fresh air.

Some quotes from director de los Santos Arias:  “I decided to focus on a clash of beliefs arriving from the new Christian religions on the island of the Dominican Republic (now a country with rampant oppression).
“At the same time, I’m making a dichotomy here. What is more important - the representation of this community or my political views, (resulting in) how do you represent an invisible country or marginalized people?”
“Both will present morality in two different ways: Each says, I possess the divine - Catholics or Protestant. The biggest problem with churches is adoration. (Rituals and witchcraft are included).”
“Now-a-days super HD cameras are expensive. I shoot my films in Super 16 mm. It’s my media; I’ve been working in it a long time. It allows me to make the films with just me, and even develop them myself. This option works better when developing an art concept.”

For me his layout of the credits were the best graphics of all the films this year. Musica bold was the named font, but it was his grouping and spacing that was so elegant. (Nancy Tilitz)