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Gff 2015: ‘Marshland’ is an atmospheric murder mystery from rural Andalusia

22 February 2015 6:11 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Marshland

Written by Rafael Cobos and Alberto Rodríguez

Directed by Alberto Rodríguez

Spain, 2014

The disorientating topography of the Andalusian swamplands provides the backdrop for Marshland, an atmospheric murder mystery from Spanish director Alberto Rodríguez. It opens to a series of spectacular aerial shots, taken from directly above, which transform the landscape into something alien and organic, like brightly coloured brain tissue. Birds and agricultural workers moving across the surface only emphasise the strangeness of the territory, showing how limited the perspective is from ground level. In theory, seeing the bigger picture should add clarity – the film returns to these shots at moments of revelation – but, rather than doing so, it exposes the gaps in the characters’ understanding and seems to suggest that some puzzles are too big to solve.

Marshland is set in 1980, a time when Spain is still emerging from the Franco era and adapting to the new democratic regime. »

- Rob Dickie

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1 item from 2015


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