The traditional West African fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nyan Koronhwea attending her estranged father's funeral. Nyan's father led two ... See full summary »
Andres reaches the Mexican border to cross into the United Sates. There between each attempt, he discovers that Tijuana is a troubled city. As he waits there, Andres is not only confronted ... See full summary »
Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl, is sent by her struggling mother to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska. Although Uncle seems like a supportive caretaker and friend, the ... See full summary »
A documentary the Wixarika culture (or Huichol) originates from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and Durango where more than 50,000 Huicholes currently live and practice their indigenous traditions.
Manuel, 9, has an old ball with which he plays football every day in the countryside. He dreams of becoming a great goalkeeper. His wishes seem set to come true when Ernest, his father, ... See full summary »
This is practically a completely true-to-life documentary, since all the actors are playing themselves in a real situation and are all related just as shown in the movie, although 'Nestor Marin' is actually a life-long father figure to Machado, not his biological father. See more »
It's not just a problem about feelings. The problem... is that I'm unhappy with your reality and you are with mine.
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The cast list includes a credit for Garza Silvestre playing the role of Blanquita, the egret that appears in the film. "Garza Silvestre" means "wild heron" in Spanish. See more »
Named as the film of 2010 by a site in which I invest some credence, Alamar was something I was keen to seek out and take in, its status as an is-it-isn't-it-documentary an added factor to its appeal.
Leaving the urban residence of his mother to spend time with his father and grandfather off the Mexican coast, Natan experiences the wonders of unadulterated nature in this tiny fishing community.
There has been some degree of questioning as to whether Alamar ought to be classed as a documentary, owing perhaps to its lack of a distinct narrative as such. Certainly the lifestyle it portrays and documents is a real one, lived by real people in the real world. The names of the performers seem to suggest that this is a real family, Natan the actual son of these parents rather than simply playing the role. Maybe it is a documentary. Maybe there is fictionalisation; maybe this sets it apart and classifies it as a narrative film. The one thing I can say for sure is that whether it is documentary or not is irrelevant. It matters not in the slightest whether this story is a reality, whether these people really relate to each other, whether they are paid actors, for so engrossing, engaging, endearing, and enthralling is the film that we are made to feel almost as though we are right there with them every step of the way as they travel from city to sea, from urbanity to rurality of the most secluded sort imaginable. To call the film's cinematography majestic would be to call the ocean which plays such a huge part in its beauty wet: a gross understatement. Each frame lovingly captures the dazzlingly effulgent seascapes, every second of audio the enrapturing calm, the comforting hush. The phrase "words can't describe" is tossed about all too often, almost stripped of the true significance of its meaning, but it can be put to use here without even the slightest suggestion of hyperbole. Words cannot describe the encompassing wonder of the images and sounds captured; indeed, it seems only film can do so. One gets a sense that it is exactly this kind of task for which the medium was envisaged: to present that which can be expressed, be conveyed, be imagined in no other way. There is a complex simplicity to the way of life Alamar depicts, a system of frugality and self-sustenance which is deeply humbling, even moving, to witness. Sitting there, watching this astounding film portray this astounding life on my fancy television and DVD player in my suburban home, all but indistinguishable from the hundreds of clones around it, tears of joyous appreciation graced my cheeks; tears of recognition, of understanding that there remains such vast and astounding beauty in the world. For some 73 minutes I was transported into another life, a life wherein I could appreciate something completely different. Many would describe it as a basic existence, but it is so much more than that. So much more. To see the young Natan revel in the regal splendour of the bird he declares "Blanquita" is to be transported mentally, emotionally, philosophically, to an entirely different plane. Words may not be able to describe the feelings which this emotional experience engenders, but one word can sum up precisely the experience itself: cinema. Purely and simply, this is cinema; this is its power, its potential realised.
Writing about Alamar, thinking about it and picturing once more its perspective-altering images makes me immediately want to turn my back on everything I know and live life as these people do, out in the great wild open. Thankfully, I can do just that with the film, for so powerful is its effect, if only for 73 minutes...
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