Abel

Directed by Diego Luna
  • Mexico
  • 2009

Adorable little Abel has quite a few mental difficulties. His mother collects him from the psychiatric ward hoping not to upset him. She carefully discusses with his teacher how to deal with the absence of Abel’s father. The entire family is on pins and needles, worrying about Abel breaking down. But things take an interesting turn when the little boy emphatically carves out a new role for himself in the family – he decides to become the father of the house. Abel transforms the fear his family has about his episodes into the respect due to the head of the household. And, oddly enough, it works! That is, until a stranger shows up at the breakfast table, claiming to be Abel’s father.

Diego Luna, in his debut effort, crafts a heartwarming tale of the way one family’s dynamic works through peculiar means. Luna’s direction effortlessly weaves its way through the emotional spectrum with the expert touch of a filmmaker wise beyond his first feature. The film is studded throughout with delightful scenes which navigate smoothly through the whole gamut of emotions. Abel is an entertaining and endearing family drama that manages to infuse its foreboding tone with a delightful sense of humour.

Sundance Film Festival Programme

Geraldine Alejandra, Karina Gidi, Christopher Ruíz-Esparza