The Latin New Wave Crests

Most Latin American film-makers can't stand slick Hollywood formulas. But two of the best Latin movies now playing in the U.S. and Europe benefit from at least one Tinseltown trick: good timing. Brazilian co-directors Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund's City of God, the brutally realistic saga of a Rio de Janeiro favela, or slum, got a big publicity boost after it opened last summer, when real drug gangs swept out of Rio's favelas and briefly shut down posh neighborhoods like Copacabana. And Mexican director Carlos Carrera's The Crime of Father Amaro, the taboo-busting story of a Roman Catholic priest who impregnates...

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