PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORTFEST 2022 REVIEW! El Carrito is a short film telling a huge story. In director and writer Zahida Pirani’s drama, a simple situation of a broken wheel on a makeshift tamale cart tells a tale of frustration, fear, exhaustion, and hardship for a Latino woman. Nelly Nelly (Eli Zavala) is caring for her aging father, Rico, while just trying to get by working her tamale cart.
“…a tale of frustration, fear, exhaustion, and hardship for a Latino woman.”
However, she is tired and angry. Nelly competes with other tamale vendors and is very accusatory. However, an unfounded accusation of a particular vendor leaves her even more distraught. Yet, the street vendors band together when forced to flee from the police and decide to lead Nelly to their hideaway.
El Carrito is a straight-up solid drama with no soundtrack other than city ambiance and small conversation. It is also a clear and present story of the day in the life of surviving and how even the slightest act of kindness can make an impact. The film breaks any language barrier as the visuals tell the story — no translation is required, which proves how talented the filmmaker is. Pirani based her fictional narrative debut on a short documentary she made, Judith: Portrait of a Street Vendor.
El Carrito premiered at the 2022 Palm Springs International Shortfest.
"…a straight-up solid drama..."