The Old Man Who Read Love Stories

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‘Although Josefina is central to the plot, she is never presented as a convincing character’. Do you agree?

Rolf de Heer’s ‘The Old Man Who Read Love Stories’ portrays the profound emotion through romantic literature, and the appreciation of life’s simple pleasures. Each and every character within the film differs from one another. Through the beliefs and values of the Shuar, to the way things get done with the European. Josefina, the films only female character, is a beautiful resident of the village despite being exploited by the Mayor as a prostitute. Josefina is without doubt central to the plot and is further presented as a convincing and influential character as the film progresses. Her sense of confidence and independence eventually leads to her mustering courage to escape the harsh clutches in order to continue her relationship with the far kinder and more loving Antonio Bolivar. Both characters, brought up in different way, experience a never-changing connection through their love for literature and one another, which leads into their own happily ever after. De heer’s ‘The Old Man Who Read Love Stories’ depicts the feature pure-hearted yet naïve characters who are trying to function as best they can in a corrupt world.

Josefina is a headstrong yet romantic woman who is treated extremely cruelly by the unscrupulous Mayor, restricting Josefina while she yearns for freedom. As she is the only major female character within the film, De heer portrays the innocence that is embedded within Josefina, a character that does not belong in the town of El Idilio nor with the presence of the injudicious Mayor and his regulations placed upon her. De heer not only portrays the innocence of this female character, but through the fundamentally kind-hearted man Antonio Bolivar. Despite his past, Antonio wishes to live a life full of happiness and joy, living without regrets and staying out of trouble. He accomplishes this by Josefina’s love of literature, which...
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