In Postales, the effects of U.S. imperialism on Latin America play out through the microcosm of one white North American family’s interactions with a poor native family eking out a living in hardscrabble Peru. While the pairing of the different members of the two clans can tend toward the schematic, writer-director Josh Hyde allows the various interactions to play out in generally surprising ways. Essentially, the younger the people involved, the less likely the relationship is to be defined by mutual exploitation. While the white father is in Peru to arrange the sale of a piece of land out from under the central native family, his two daughters strike up rather different relationships with the Peruvian clan’s two boys. The older girl begins a romance with the older boy, but not one immune from his constant need to hustle for money. Only in the budding friendship between the 12-year-old American girl, Mary (Nadia Alexander), and the younger Peruvian boy, Pablo (Guimel Soria Martinez), a sensitive kid forced to peddle postcards in the city square, are the claims of imperialism temporarily suspended. Wandering off the beaten path, Mary gets a chance to witness the non-tourist reality of the country, a strategy that neatly mirrors Hyde’s own outsider’s sensitivity to the textures of Peruvian life.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 24, 2013