10th Annual Cine LatinoIn Focus: Andrés Crespo Arosemena

By Jan Willms
Subject: Andrés Crespo, writer and actor for Such is Life in the Tropics

Reading was the trigger that started Andrés Crespo on his film career. Crespo, who is co-writer and also acts in the film Such is Life in the Tropics, said his mother and father were avid readers.

Such is Life in the Tropics is a film about intrigue involving a disputed piece of land. Crespo co-wrote it with the film’s director, Sebastián Cordero. Crespo said he wrote the film out of a desire to show the politics of power in his hometown from his point of view. “It derives from a vision of childhood,” Crespo said. “My father is a lawyer, and I would sometimes visit some of his friends’ offices with him, and one in particular fascinated me. It had dark old wood on the floor, walls and ceiling, guns hanging from the walls, yellow Tonka toy trucks and ancient Indian artifacts everywhere. His friend had some planes and also did land removal jobs. It was a powerful place.”

Co-writing the film was more difficult than being the sole writer, according to Crespo. “Co-writing is a tough job because it requires brutal concentration, and you have to learn how to give and take,” he commented. “Sebastián is an amazing storyteller and a very thorough writer, so we went through a lot of changes. It requires love and undying curiosity. I feel both for Sebastián and the story, so it was a great ride.”

As to whether it is easier to act in a film he helped write, Crespo said he did not write the part for himself and did not choose the role. “Sebastián did. I guess if I had written a role for myself and acted it out, it would have been different… or maybe not,” he added.