The future perfect (2016)
The future perfect aka El Futuro Perfecto (2016) is a Spanish film from Argentina. It was exhibited online as part of the Latin American Migration Film Festival by ICAF in partnership with the embassies of Argentina, Chile, Mexico & Guatemala. With a running time of just over an hour, the film was a delight to watch.
Directed by Nele Wohlatz, The future perfect (2016) is about a girl migrating from China to Buenos Aires to be with her parents who have been living there. This plot intrigued me, as when we hear about migration in the region we think of South Americans migrating to the USA, I didn’t know that Chinese looking for greener pastures migrated to Argentina. A wiki search revealed that Argentina was a destination of choice for migrants especially Italians in the 19th Century till the great depression of the 1930s.
Coming back to the story, the girl name Xiaobin (played by Xiaobin Zhang) finding herself in a new country with an unknown language struggles to settle down. Unable to understand or speak Spanish she loses her first job at a local supermarket. Xiaobin enrols in a local Spanish class. The film starts and ends with this class, where the teacher is shown having a mockup conversation with her in Spanish – this was an interesting angle to narrate – I was reminded a few earlier works like English Vinglish and Mind Your Language (1977).
While working in her next job, she meets an Indian named Vijay (played by Saroj Kumar Malik) who is working as a computer programmer. It was a pleasant surprise to find an Indian, in an Argentina Spanish film as the boyfriend of the protagonist. I liked the reply Xiaobin gives to Vijay when he wants them to get married, “I don’t know your language or if you leave today I don’t even know where to look for you and I am only 18 which is not the age to get married“.
Regarding the title of the film, in one of the classes, Xiaobin is asked to narrate versions of a possible future for her with Vijay and that’s why it was called a “The Perfect Future”.