The family dynamic gets a serious look-see in “Luna Vieja (Old Moon)” from Puerto Rican-born, NYU-trained director-writer-(co)producer Raisa Bonnet, who tells a simple story of an innocent child’s darkness redeemed by a prudent grandmother.
When her husband dies, Elsa is visited at her small home in Vierques by her beautiful but naive granddaughter Mina (Laura Cristina Cardona) and her empty-souled father Alei (Julio Ramos). Elsa, a worldly creature played by the unaffectedly talented non-actor María Velázquez, discovers the father abusing the child—what he likes to all too thinly veil as “horseback riding.” Elsa takes action to help the girl retain whatever dignity is left her because of her father’s horrid actions.
Bonnet uses a naturalistic approach (amazing and poignant, considering it was shot on a micro-budget) with some nice camerawork from Cristian Carretero. Subtlety has its benefits. “Old Moon” elicits a proud, no-nonsense feeling of liberation. Of hope reborn.