7 Boxes

Money is no substitute for ingenuity, as proven by this low-budget Paraguayan thriller (2012). Victor, the impoverished young hero, earns cash carting people’s packages around on his hand truck in a huge outdoor market; offered $100 by a local hood to haul away seven wooden boxes for the duration of a police search, he takes possession of the mysterious cargo only to discover he’s in deep trouble with the law and with warring criminal factions. Directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori weave together a complex, fast-moving intrigue with little more at their disposal than a few cell phones and the byzantine corridors of the market. The cells, in particular, become a poignant symbol of Victor’s constricted dreams: all he wants from life is buy himself a cool new phone with a video camera so he can watch himself on a screen. In Spanish with subtitles.