Clean Hands

Feature | Unrated | 82 min


AMC Fashion Valley 18 Screen 9 Fri, Mar 15 6:10 PM
AMC Fashion Valley 18 Screen 2 Thu, Mar 21 9:30 PM
Film Info
Section:De Aquí Soy
Release Year:2018
Production Country:United States / Nicaragua
Subtitles:Spanish w/ English Subtitles
Director:Michael Dominic


Shot over the course of seven years (2011-2018) in Nicaragua, Clean Hands is a feature-length fly-on-the-wall cinéma vérité which tells the remarkable, riveting story of the Lopez family surviving against the backdrop of Central America’s largest garbage dump, La Chureca and beyond. It is about family, extreme poverty, the hope and innocence of children, rescue and salvation, and the challenges we all face. This is a slice of life that is rarely seen. While we do shine a light at the issues that people struggle with in the developing world and beyond, this film is about family. We do not attempt to offer solution, opinion or our point of view. We believe that cinéma vérité films should leave it to the audience to form their own opinions. It is desperate, and quite dangerous. The four Lopez children are ages 6 to 10 when we first meet them. They have never been to school. They cannot read or write. They are kids, prone to mischief and silliness. They rely on each other as siblings, playmates, companions, and friends. Unlike their parents, they don’t fully grasp what they don’t have. La Chureca is the only life, and only world, they’ve ever known. Blanca (the children’s mother), is often controlled by her rage. Her partner Javier and the children often bear the brunt of her anger. They dream of a better life. Through fortuitous circumstance, an American philanthropist hears of the plight of the family. She is moved and comes to their aid. She builds them a small house in the country that sits on land they can farm. The kids can attend school for the first time, and the family can escape the desolation and dead-end life of La Chureca. The children take to their new lives and are excited to attend school. But, even after getting what they want, all is not well in the camp. As the family adjusts to the opportunity, new home, and farm–life, as it often does for all of us–becomes com- plicated. Blanca in particular must face her demons from her troubled past. She misses her city life in Managua and abandons her family for long periods of time, leaving Javier alone to care for the children in the country, making their promising new future uncertain. Clean Hands is a powerful story of real human drama. There is struggle, together- ness, liberation, and challenge.