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Pål Sverre Hagen,
Hans Petter Hansen
Mario and Ana, in voluntary exile from Buenos Aires, live in a remote Argentine valley with their 12-year-old son Ernesto. Mario runs a school and a wool cooperative; Ana, a doctor, heads a... See full summary »
Advanced and powerful film, rough in parts, but gripping
This move hangs together very well, with a simple story of tragedy and loss with a journey through the pain to emerge at some kind of acceptance at the end. It is not a feel-good movie by any means, but for me it made sense and worked as a whole.
The characters, dialogue and story are well done, if going over well-trodden terrain. What sets this film above many others of its genre is the desolation of the setting for most of the time - Patagonia is beautiful but empty. Yes, lots of analogy with the lead character who has run away from a family tragedy, for which he feels responsible.
However, whereas something like "We Don't Live Here Any More" has the annoying cloy of intellectuals whining and bleating about their interactions and attempts to get under the skin of people undergoing huge changes in their lives, this achieves it.
What was interesting was the quality of the film, which was low-quality digital. If you ditch your preconceptions of film stock having "musical" distortion and grain, and all other types of visual degradation being wrong, you may find the artifacts quite stunning. I thought that it was an amazingly shot movie and the director deserves plaudits for the look of it.
To be honest, I would not have seen this film out of choice, the subject matter is an area that can be too sentimental and introspective, but I am very pleased that it was an excellent piece, sympathetically and, at time, humorously shot and with a great deal of humanity on show. If you get the chance to see this gem, take it.
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