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Buffalo Boy

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About the Inititative

Comprehensive list of all titles in the Global Lens collection.

Global Lens 2006
Global Lens 2005

- Buffalo Boy
- Daughter of Keltoum
- Fuse
- Hollow City
- Kabala
- Lili's Apron
- Today and Tomorrow
- Uniform
- What's a Human Anyway?
- Whisky

Global Lens 2004/2003


Whisky a film by Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll

Uruguay, 2004 (94 minutes)


Set in Uruguay's gray and quiet port of Montevideo, Whisky presents a tale of self-realization and discovery. Jacobo (Andres Pazos) is the dull and gravely serious owner of a sock factory. Every day, he follows the same routine - he gets up, drives to the factory and meets his manager Marta (Mirella Pascual), a frumpy, quiet, middle-aged worker who is loyal to the factory and her boss. He opens the factory and starts the machines while Marta fixes his tea. He enters his office and shuffles through papers until Marta enters with a quiet "excuse me," offering his tea and quickly departing. Marta remains in the machine room all day, inspecting socks off the conveyer belt and managing two other employees. By day's end, she checks the bags of the other workers, marks their time sheets, and meets Jacobo outside as he closes the gates to the factory. The two exchange the usual courtesies and depart only to return the next day to continue the monotony, never carrying their exchanges into anything personal.

Their dull routine is broken by the impending arrival of Jacobo's younger brother, Herman (Jorge Bolani), who moved from Montevideo to live in Brazil. Herman is returning for the unveiling of their mother's gravestone, a Jewish tradition observed one year after a funeral, because he missed the funeral the year before. Jacobo feels pressured by this visit, believing he must pretend to be a family man like his brother. He asks Marta if she would be willing to "help out at home" while his brother is visiting. He even gives her a ring. Always loyal, Marta agrees to this deception. She even suggests that she and Jacobo have pictures taken. And she goes to Jacobo's apartment to change his dreary bachelor's abode into one a couple would live in.

Herman arrives, an upbeat and lively character. And as Jacobo and Herman exchange gifts "socks", Herman's are colorful and stylish compared to Jacobo's. Herman's arrival also thrusts Jacobo and Marta into a game of improvisation, during which they must struggle not to contradict each other's "memories" of their honeymoon.

The visit is amicable enough, and Herman spontaneously suggests that Jacobo and Marta to join him in an off-season holiday at a chilly seaside resort, at Piriapolis. The three arrive at the empty luxury hotel where the game of deception grows more intense.

Here, Marta's true personality begins to emerge. She wears makeup and dresses up. She even lets Herman in on her verbal game of repeating sentences backwards. The more she is in the company of Herman, the more Marta experiences a romantic rebirth. Jacobo remains dry and sullen, brightening only at the prospect of a game of table hockey.

When Herman offers Jacobo money for the time Jacobo took care of their mother, the manic Jacobo decides to lose all the money in a game of roulette - but, instead, his money doubles.

When the three depart, they return to their former lives. Herman returns to Brazil, and Jacobo and Marta go back to Montevideo. As a token of his appreciation, Jacobo gives Marta the money he won. Marta packs up her clothes from Jacobo's apartment and heads home.

The next morning, Jacobo goes about his regular routine. He gets up, goes to the factory and opens it. This time, Marta is not there. He starts the machines and makes his own tea. When the two young employees ask if they can play the radio, Jacobo answers, "Ask Marta when she gets here."


About the Director

Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll were born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and began working together while studying at La Universidad Catolica del Uruguay. Their feature debut, 25 Watts (2001), won multiple awards, including the VPRO Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Whisky is their second feature, winning the Prix du Regard Original at the 2004 Festival de Cannes.

Principal Cast

Jacobo Koller
Marta Acuna
Herman Koller
Young Married Couple


Production Company

Art Director


Andres Pazos
Mirella Pascual
Jorge Bolani
Ana Katz
Daniel Hendler


Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll
Control-Z Films / Fernando Epstein Prod.
Frenando Epstein
Juan Pablo
Pablo Stoll
Gonzalo Delgado Galiana
Barbara Alvarez
Delgado Galiana
Pequena Orquestra Reincidentes

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