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The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (2001)


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Director: Rolf de Heer
Writers: Claude Cohen (French dialogue), Luis Sepúlveda (novel)


Richard Dreyfuss … Antonio Bolivar
Timothy Spall … Luis Agalla (Mayor)
Hugo Weaving … Rubicondo (Dentist)
Cathy Tyson … Josefina
Victor Bottenbley … Nushino
Fede Celada … uan
Luis Hostalot … Manuel
Guillermo Toledo … Onecen

In the forgotten village of the Amazons El Idilio, lives Antonio José Bolivar, a white old man who has learned about the forest and its laws from the Indios. He respects the animals and the indigenous people and has learned to hunt jaguars better than any other white man.

One day he starts to avidly read the books that dentist Rubicondo Loachamin brings him to fill in the long equatorial nights. These love novels tell of real love, the one that makes suffer. Reading these books the old man manages to get away from the arrogance of those foreigners who think they can dominate the jungle because they are heavily armed.

He shares his “hobby” with a beautiful young woman called Josefina whom he falls in love with. But Antonio is forced by the local mayor to go on a hunt for a desperate female jaguar that has lost its cubs and has started killing people. While tracking the jaguar Antonio relives his life through flashbacks and reconciliates himself with his past.

This is a very enjoyable movie about man’s harmony with nature and his place as an honourable hunter, contrasting the thrill-seeking gringos and the corrupt local mayor with the quiet patience and understanding of Antonio Bolivar.

Bolivar: “Back so soon, Rubicondo?”
Rubicondo: “There was a woman’s husband looking for me…with a gun…pointed at me”

“I have tangled with the most dangerous, man-eating she-cats in the world in my time. I figured you could use my…experience”

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