Note: I am listing 2005/7 in the title because it seems that the film was made in 2005 and began its long festival tour that year until finally coming out in American theaters in 2007.
The Violin tells the story of Don Plautarco (Ángel Tavira), his son Genaro (Gerardo Taracena) and grandson Lucio (Mario Garibaldi) who earn a living as traveling musicians while also smuggling weapons to rebels fighting the country's oppressive regime. When one day they return home to find their town occupied by the army and the residents forced into hiding, they make a bold play to recover the ammunition the troops have seized
Shot entirely in grimy yet moody black and white The Violin decides to focus on its characters in such a natural and intimate way that everything that happens in its short running time carries such a weight and danger to it that it truly becomes one intense story. You care for the characters and you care what happens to them and although it sounds like something that you should feel for the characters in every movie it is only rarely that I actually and really do. The Violin due to its excellent naturalistic performances and natural sounding dialogue is able to accomplish just that in such a perfect manner that I was truly impressed by it all.
I found out about this film through film comment (under links) and I took a chance on it based on a glowing review of it and I was not disappointed. It's a small film but its a great film. I will definitely throw this one into my pile of overlooked gems.