Continuing on our tour through the Childish Films offerings at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, we watched Tesoros this weekend. Tesoros is Spanish for treasure. The movie follows a group of children searching for lost pirate treasure. This Mexican film was shot on location in the small village of Barra de Potosi on the Mexican Pacific Coast.
Tesoros – Review
I have a favorite children’s book, Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran, which my children despise (I’ve shared a video of the story at the bottom of this article). This film is a bit like that book. It is built on adult nostalgia for a simple childhood, but it is just too slow and nostalgic for kids who are raised on video games and fast moving movies. It also takes awhile to identify the main character of this film. It is not one of the children; it is the landscape of southwestern Mexico. The plot and characters are secondary to the scenery and lifestyle of the inhabitants of the town. I left the movie with a craving for fish tacos and a longing to climb into our VW Van and ditch everything for a little Mexican hut on the beach.
The story, however, plodded along with too many underdeveloped characters and a plot that weaved through the movie at a maddeningly slow pace. The whole movie reminded me of one of those old Sesame Street shorts in which children from different cultures would describe a typical day in their lives, but instead of lasting 3 minutes, it was 96 minutes. This film is recommended for ages 7+. I would have a hard time agreeing with the low end of the age recommendation, simply because the film is very heavy on narration. Even a child who is fluent in Spanish may find it difficult to sit through this film, but trying to keep up with the subtitles would make it almost impossible.
Reservations aside, this is a beautiful film, and it shows a way of life that is so very different from our own. In this small town, children are much freer; families are poor but content; things move slowly; and the environment is an integral part of everyone’s daily life. If you and your children don’t mind a slow-paced, meandering movie, it can be rewarding for the same reasons it is challenging. This would actually make a great rainy afternoon movie, where you drift in and out while the plot slowly plays out.
This film was originally reviewed as part of the Childish Films section of the 2017 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. FFTC was provided with tickets to facilitate our review. Find more movie reviews from past film festivals here.
Tesoros – Details and Viewing Info
You can view the trailer for the film below.