‘La Pecera’ Review: A Lyrical Exploration of Decay (Sundance 2023)

How do you navigate life when you know you’ll depart it very soon? Do you make amends? Do you atone? Do you make your last memories meaningful and impactful? Do you just wither away? Glorimar Marrero Sánchez ópera prima La Pecera introduces all these questions into the film but never gives you a simple answer.

La Pecera (The Fishbowl, in its English title) follows Noelia (Isel Rodríguez), a Puerto Rican woman who has discovered her lung cancer has metastasized and doesn’t have much longer left to live. So she decides to embark on a journey to Vieques to reconnect with her mother and choose how to live the rest of her days. In her voyage, she helps her community in the aftermath of six decades of military exercises that took place in her native hometown. Writer and director Glorimar Marrero Sánchez crafted a very somber, low-key melancholic character-driven piece with parallels to the real-life struggles of Puerto Ricans, specifically those living in Vieques. The film is set in 2017, during the height of the hurricane season, specifically on the eve of the imminent Hurricane Inma, which is not mentioned as much since it was quickly overshadowed by the infamous category 5 Hurricane María. So a chunk of the film is devoted to the denial and anxiety that the characters feel regarding the imminent threat of the hurricane at their doorstep.



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