Synopsis by Mark Deming
The ups and downs of one's family's life are reflected in their adventures with a rattletrap used car in this comedy drama from Colombia. Twelve-year-old Paola (Zaira Valenzuela) is the youngest in a family of five, with her working-class mother (Lully Bossa) and father (César Badillo) struggling to support her along with older siblings Andrea (Andrea Gomez) and Oscar (Diego Cadavid). Paola is trying to sell tickets for a prize drawing at her school, with the winner receiving a new car; she isn't able to persuade her father to take her last ticket, but the family across the street does, and to their surprise they win the new auto. To show their gratitude, the winners offer to sell Paola's folks their old car, a vintage Chevrolet convertible that's seen better days. While Mother is initially against the idea, Father (who loves the old clunker) and Oscar (who believes having a car is essential to making time with the girls) persuade her to liberate the family's savings, and soon the Chevy is theirs. Paola isn't happy about this decision at first, since the garage that had been her bedroom will now be home to the car, forcing her to share a room again with Andrea, but in time the car becomes a part of the family, taking them on dozens of small adventures, giving Oscar a place to be alone with his girl, and even jump-starting Mother and Father's romance. El Carro (aka The Car) was the first feature film from director Luis Orjuela.