Tuesday, 7 September 2010
OKUPAS is one of the best things to ever come out of Argentinian telly. A mini-series that consisted of 11 episodes written and directed by Bruno Stagnaro, who also made the mythical "Pizza, Birra, Faso".
The series explored in quite a realistic manner the marginal life style in Buenos Aires telling the story of Ricardo a middle class lad in his 20's, basically a college drop-out and his 3 friends Pollo, Walter and Chiqui, who are all living in this sort of squatted house which eventually will lead them through extreme situations. Drugs, abuse, crime, sex, and overall friendship are de-constructed in a very matter-of-fact style that leaves one's face aching from a reality bitch slap.
The episodes develop in a very curious way, going from funny to intensely scary and uncomfortable to terribly sad. The relationships between the characters deserves an analysis of its own, but that would also enable to give away too much too soon.
It is, in my opinion, very important to point out that the somewhat independent style of the series make it unpretentious and casual yet immensely realistic. Many of the actors used where actually from the slums of Buenos Aires giving it a real edge that would have never been achieved with conventional actors playing thugs.
There hasn't been any official DVD release as of now. You can watch the episodes on youtube and other sources, although I do have a project of making subtitles in English and uploading them soon.