Papá Gringo y Arturo


"Papa Gringo "
cliquee aquí por la versión castellana
(1983, Super 8, documentary)
Shooting and editing:
Mario Piazza
Running time: 22 min.

In Bogota, capital of Columbia, Ward Bentley, an American retired travels the city to attend the street kids, the "gamines", who affectionately have dubbed him "Papa Gringo".


* First Prize at the International Super 8 Film Festival of Caracas (Venezuela, 1983)
* First Prize at the International Super 8 Film Festival of Sao Paulo (Brazil, 1983)
* Best Documentary at the International Super 8 Film Festival of Brussels (Belgium,1983)
* First Prize, National Film Contest of UNCIPAR, Buenos Aires, 1983.
* First Prize at the International 8mm Film Festival of Ann Arbor (USA, 1984)
* First Prize at the International Super 8 Film Festival of Lund (Suecia, 1984)
* First Prize Super 8 Section Internacional Film Contest of Igualada (España, 1984).
* First Prize, Documentary Section, Film Contest "Ciudad de La Plata", 1985.
* Broadcasted by Antenne 2 from Paris, January 1986.


Shot in ten days on the streets of Bogota, Columbia, Piazza's work is a warm, humanistic portrait of the gamines, street orphans who survive in their filthy environment through savvy, purse snatching, violence, and the loving care of an American medical practitioner they have dubbed "Papa gringo".
Michael Frierson, The Independent Producer, Cambridge, U.S.A.,
October 1983

Previously, in the brasilean film "Pixote" this reality was incorporated, but while focusing on three kids, totality seemed to vanish. "Papa Gringo", on the contrary, doesn't let us to forget for a single moment this reality, and the individual work of two foreigners only helps to underline what of pathetic the situation has.
María Cristina, daily Claridad, San Juan, Puerto Rico ,

Exceptional example of what the authentic true cinema should be, it magically melts the pitiless reality and the fondest tenderness of the misfortune kids, narrating with an arduous sobriety, without a hint of melodrama nor mawkishness, the luminous relation of the gamines and the singular American laic missionary who lives for them. La surprising maturity of the work is revealed by the cleanness with which it attains that what is shown keep hurting the spectator.
Fernando Chao, daily La Capital, Rosario,

Claudio Daniel Minghetti, Heraldo del Cine, Buenos Aires,

The register is forcible, beautiful and moving. A true jewell of Super 8 film.
Juan Carlos Arch, daily El Litoral, Santa Fe,

The emotion in "Papa Gringo" isn't just created for an evening's catharsis de una proyección, it comes from a reality that does not itself fade. Sorry, "Uncommon Valor".
Bob King, Weekend, Ann Arbor, U.S.A.,

He films alone, being in charge at the same time of sound and image. Through some kind of mimesis he fuses himself with his characters, and he tries to see through their eyes and to live their emotions. Maybe this is not much objective, but it' s very efficacious and allows us to share a certain view. That of the sensitive man that Mario Piazza is and that we all possess at different levels.
Jean Hamel, Plein Cadre, Montreal, Canadá,

An excellent film, both for its realization and for its proposal.
Marcos Mayer, magazine SuperHumor, Buenos Aires,
July 1983

"Papa Gringo" is the documentary par excellence.
Horacio "Nene" Vargas, magazine Risario, Rosario,
August 1983

With great simplicity and economy of means, Mario Piazza, with this film, confirms his evolution (...)
Emilio Bellon, daily Rosario, Rosario,



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