IMDb > Paraguayan Hammock (2006)

Paraguayan Hammock (2006) More at IMDbPro »Hamaca paraguaya (original title)


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Release Date:
14 May 2008 (USA) See more »
Set in 1935, a couple of aged smallholders are waiting for their son, for rain, for better days. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
6 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
You're not exactly in the hands of a master when it comes to this sort of material, but the film offers an interesting study none-the-less. See more (10 total) »


Ramon Del Rio ... Ramón
Georgina Genes ... Candida
Jorge López ... Hijo

Directed by
Paz Encina 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Paz Encina 

Produced by
Simon Field .... executive producer
Keith Griffiths .... executive producer
Christoph Hahnheiser .... co-producer (as Christoph Meyer-Wiel)
Ilse Hughan .... producer
Gabriela Sabaté .... producer
Marianne Slot .... producer
Lita Stantic .... co-producer
Carolina Urbieta .... supervising producer
Original Music by
Óscar Cardozo Ocampo 
Cinematography by
Willi Behnisch 
Film Editing by
Miguel Schverdfinger 
Art Direction by
Carlos Sapatuza 
Set Decoration by
Carlos Spatuzza 
Sound Department
Guido Berenblum .... sound
Mauricio Castañeda .... foley artist
Roberto Espinoza .... sound re-recording mixer
Daniel Heusser .... foley recordist
Lisandro Rumeau .... assistant sound editor
Victor Alejandro Tendler .... sound
Marcela Turjanski .... dialogue editor
Other crew
Marie Sonne-Jensen .... assistant to producer
Lisandro Alonso .... thanks
Gilles Jacob .... thanks
Joaquim Jordà .... thanks (as Joaquín Jordà)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hamaca paraguaya" - Argentina (original title)
See more »
78 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:


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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
You're not exactly in the hands of a master when it comes to this sort of material, but the film offers an interesting study none-the-less., 6 July 2009
Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England

Cynics, or those that didn't take to it and are just out to destroy the film, will point out a certain line of dialogue uttered by one of the very, very few characters in this piece about half way in; when they exclaim a personal ideology along the lines of "the more you wait around, the more chance there is of something happening". This 2006, one of very few Paraguayan films I have either heard of or come across, piece is entitled Paraguayan Hammock, and is indeed all about waiting around, killing the time, thinking, wondering, speculating and attempting to become more in touch with a spiritual side you might posses. The occurrence of the above quotation sort of lifts the film up a level into a realm of the self-aware, where-in the very thesis of the film's study lies.

The setting is Paraguay and it's 1935. The two predominant characters, named Ramón and Candida, spend most their time, whilst inhabiting the film's present equilibrium, in a hammock; forever waiting for the their son to return from war; waiting and wondering if it will rain so as to benefit the surrounding rural land; waiting and wondering if a nearby dog will stop barking; waiting and wondering what the menacing, nearby thunder will do. Don't get me wrong, I liked the film but only up to a certain level. Paraguyan Hammock is interested in those moments or passages in life in-between the agony and the ecstasy, such as the son going off to war and either coming home fit, healthy and alive or not at all and such as to whether there will be a heavy rainfall so their surrounding rural locale can benefit.

Ramón and Candida inhabit a space that is a hammock, something so important to the film-makers that they name their piece after said prop. This prop is bound at either end to two separate trees, signifying the only physical contact to the rest of world at any one time. The hammock doubles up as a very specific space, and it sees its two central performers suspended above the ground, perhaps indeed the world they inhabit, for a good duration of the film. Here, they talk and muse for very long periods of time about worries and concerns and the world around them; the hammock offers a space in which they can observe. The fact they take it down now and again to shift away from annoying, nearby dogs that consistently bark might be read into as an allegory that there just isn't any room for them anymore and they they feel most things are coming to an end: their lives, their rural livelihood and any contact with their son they might have through fear of loosing him in the war going on. These are indeed tough times for Ramón and Candida.

But if the film makes this point, then it makes it fairly quickly. Although the film clocks in at 78 minutes, it actually, and rather disappointingly, feels longer. The film plays like a documentary at some points, with long takes and compositions of people just inhabiting, but not engaging with, their surroundings. It only really becomes cinematic again when it breaks away for flashbacks of days gone by and interactions between Ramón and his son on their farm. During this time, the film will throw in some rather tiring shots of pieces of fruit tumbling out of sacks and in one particularly disappointing sequence, the film will have Ramón talk of the dangers of warfare and the probabilities of death prior to his leaving - this as trees are felled in the background and certainly emphasised. The symbolism between life and death and something falling out of place when it is predominantly assured everything will be fine is one of a few aspects that should have worked better than they do.

The rumbling thunder, which the the film-makers deliberately intensify later on, acts as an odd, off-screen symbolistic presence that juxtaposes both the prospect of rain and hope for the couple but could also be read into as off screen explosions and sound effects of warfare, simultaneously reminding us of their son and his situation. But again, you're only going to get as much out of this if you initially buy into Paraguyan Hammock's approach, that being of the slow burning and very observant variety and then get a kick out of its, essentially, relatively straight forward fore-warnings of destruction and hope through both on and off screen symbolism.

I have a feeling we're still to see the best of writer/director Paz Encina, someone who isn't afraid of supremely artistic approaches to subjects. His style of shooting long takes of the absolute everyday and mundane is there, but his cutting away to the skies above, plus clouds, in between lines of dialogue during these extended ten or so minute takes mask the fact he isn't using quality acting talent who can deliver long passages of neo-realistic dialogue for extended periods. It also suggests there is something deeper behind said compositions of the skies, when in reality, they're probably acting as cutaways that cover up acting talent failings. Nevertheless, Paraguyan Hammock is an ambitious piece; a film that pauses for reflection in a, more often than not, refreshing manner. If you're willing to take a step back from your fast and frenetic (some might say 'Americanised') and more popular South American offerings in Express Kidnapping and City of God, then chances are you'll enjoy this.

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