‘El Cholo’ – Hugo Sotil on the Big Screen

“You think art, hard work and sport cannot coexist? That is el cholo.”

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In 1972, Peruvian director and producer Bernardo Batievsky decided to make a film about the still relatively nascent career of Hugo Sotil. It was entitled ‘El Cholo’.

It is far from a cinematic masterpiece (and the quality of the one upload of the film on Youtube is far from great), but its 87 minutes pass by easily enough. There is some nice scenery, neat hippie vibes and the amusingly unsubtle imagery of an arty Sotil painting circle after circle after circle yet wondering where his true love lies (a clue: its football).

Sotil later admitted that he felt nervous and uncomfortable throughout the filming process, but he still returned to the big screen in 2016 to play a small part in Calichín, a Peruvian comedy starring Aldo Miyashiro.

He still wasn’t convinced: “I’m only good at football, not cinema.”

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