While bed-ridden Antonio awaits a visit from his long-lost son, the alluring view of Patagonia from his window leads him to escape for one last stroll. Argentina. Spanish w/English ...
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While bed-ridden Antonio awaits a visit from his long-lost son, the alluring view of Patagonia from his window leads him to escape for one last stroll. Argentina. Spanish w/English subtitles. Winner - Valladolid Int'l FF. Official Selection - Toronto and Havana Int'l FFs. Written by
LA VENTANA (THE WINDOW) is a gentle masterpiece of cinema written and directed by Carlos Sorin. It is about living and dying and how, hopefully, we all can approach that last day on earth. Filmed in Argentina's Patagonia by cinematographer Julian Apezteguia with an emphasis on sunshine and landscape this little film humbly presents the final day of living of 80-year-old writer Antonio (Antonio Larreta) who has been confined to bed in his home after a heart attack (his warmly caring doctor advises him to be hospitalized, but Antonio seems to appreciate the futility of that move). He is attended by two women - María del Carmen (María del Carmen Jiménez) and Emilse (Emilse Roldán) - who prepare his meals and his medications and cut his hair and keep his old home clean. Antonio is frisky and more than anything wants to walk in his vegetable garden he watches through his bedside window. He calls upon a piano tuner to tune his ancient piano in preparation for the visit of his son Pablo (Jorge Díez), a famous concert pianist, who is due to arrive with his girlfriend Claudia (Carla Peterson) after a very long absence. Antonio finally decides to take a walk in his garden and his land, longing to once again feel a part of nature. He stumbles, is unable to get up, and is found by neighbors who bring him home. After seeing his son, and after recalling a repeated dream of the lovely woman who served as his nanny, Antonio simply goes to sleep, happy and serene.
There is no story to this beautiful film, Instead it is just a day in the life of a man who has lived a good life and accepts his dying with great dignity and happiness. Each of the actors in this elegy is perfect for the simple roles. But it is the performance by Antonio Larreta under Carlos Sorin's direction that makes this film soar, quietly and with profound respect for the art of living and of dying. It is a little masterpiece.
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