Paraîso’ is winning its way through the film festival circuit this year while making a name for its director Nadav Kurtz and three unassuming Mexican immigrant window washers: Cruz Guzman, Jaime Polanco and Sergio Polanco.
This ten minute visual treat is riveting as it tells the story of these window washers in their own words, who risk their lives atop some of Chicago’s tallest buildings. Kurtz beautifully crafted film tells us about their dreams, fears and thoughts on the afterlife while hanging off of a skyscraper. The movie is presented in Spanish with English subtitles.
The film short was directed and produced by Kurtz and features employees of Corporate Cleaning Services, Chicago’s largest all-union window washing company. Kurtz, an award-winning commercial and film editor, while living in Chicago was fascinated by the city’s rich cultural diversity as well as its socio-economic barriers.
The concept of those “outside looking in” was what drove Kurtz to make the movie. Kurtz, an immigrant himself, “wanted to portray the men in a dignified manner” and find out if they are in touch with their morality each time they rappel one of those skyscrapers. Hold on to your coffee as you get a birdseye view thousands of feet above the city just like these men get everyday they go to work.
The movie maybe on its way to Oscar buzz in light of its win at the Tribeca Film Festival 2012, winning the Best Documentary Short at the Las Americas International Film Festival and winning Best Documentary Short at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival.
This cinematic nugget will be shown tomorrow and Saturday at the Los Angeles Film Festival and on Saturday at the Palm Springs International ShortFest. You can also see Paraîso at the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival tomorrow and Friday in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Its growing fan base has its fingers crossed that it once again wins its category at all the festivals and that we can see Cruz, Jaime and Sergio walking the red carpet on Oscar night.