Oblivion offers a sobering, often heartbreaking surveillance of Lima, Peru's economic despair, although its title proves deceptive insofar as the film finds hope in even the most down-and-out of scenarios. Local native Heddy Honigmann's documentary focuses on a cross-section of citizens with their backs firmly against the wall, most frequently returning to a group of young people who perform stunts during red lights at the crosswalks of a major intersection in hope of spare change handouts, a dangerous occupation that takes its tolls in ways both big and small. The film never settles for easy manipulation and repeatedly taps into the emotive power of the close-up, its subjects speaking at length about hardships past and present; the film breaks away only once, momentarily, after a devastating reveal by a young boy who spends his days shining shoes. Intercutting footage of recent presidential inaugurations between subjects, the film contrasts real-life hardships with the superficial parade that passes for the country's "politics of amnesia"; Oblivion maintains its focus on Peru but its examination of corruption renders its insights universal. "Bandit is too good a word", says one citizen about several past leaders (many subjects discuss Alan García with bitter specificity), but what sticks more than these people's attitudes towards their government is their unrelenting resilience, best summarized by the motto of a small-time shop owner: "We can fix anything. Nothing's impossible. Everything can be repaired."