6.6/10
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11 user 18 critic

Hamaca paraguaya (2006)

Set in 1935, a couple of aged smallholders are waiting for their son, for rain, for better days.

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6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Jorge López ...
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Set in 1935, a couple of aged smallholders are waiting for their son, for rain, for better days.

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f rated | tarkovskyesque | See All (2) »

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14 May 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hamaca Paraguaya - Eine Hängematte in Paraguay  »

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Artistic Pretension
2 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

Pusan Film Festival Reviews 9: Hamaca Paraguaya (Paz Encina)

Here is a film that's created a polarizing reaction at film festivals, where some are inclined to take its painfully dull miserablism as brilliance. It's difficult for me to say that a film of serious intent is completely without merit, but "Hamaca Paraguaya" comes close. I can only guess that the film is an attempt to somehow capture the feeling of growing old and slowly dying, as that's exactly how I felt while sitting through it. First time director Paz Encina pulls off the dubious feat of making festival entrants Tsai Ming-liang, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Aki Kaurismaki look like directors of epic action pictures.

I'm quickly becoming hostile to the static long-shot held for an interminable length of time. Within the span of the film's nearly 10-minute opening shot (the first of less than thirty), with a pair of old people sitting on a hammock in a forest clearing mumbling repetitively in voice-over, the realization dawned that this 75-minute film was going to be a long haul. There are moments where the film very, very briefly acts like it might do something of interest, but those hopes are quickly dashed as the camera returns to the clearing, the hammock, and the mumbling old folks.

Why would a young woman, making the first film in her impoverished country since the 1970s, make one without a pulse? Anything of relevance that the film has to say about war, sorrow, and aging, loses all impact due to its deliberately alienating design. New art from obscure places should be encouraged, but art needs much more than what was on display in this film.


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