7.2/10
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4 user 35 critic

¡Vivan las antípodas! (2011)

What would be the shortest route between Entre Rios in Argentina and the Chinese metropolis Shanghai? Simply a straight line through the center of the earth, since the two places are ... See full summary »

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Storyline

What would be the shortest route between Entre Rios in Argentina and the Chinese metropolis Shanghai? Simply a straight line through the center of the earth, since the two places are antipodes: they are located diametrically opposite to each other on the earth's surface. During his visits to four such antipodal pairs, the award-winning documentary filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky captured images that turn our view of the world upside down. A beautiful, peaceful sunset in Entre Rios is contrasted with the bustling streets in rainy Shanghai. People who live in a wasteland are connected to people dwelling next to a volcano. Landscapes whose splendor touches the soul are juxtaposed with the clamor of a vast city. These antipodes seem mythically connected, somehow united by their oppositeness. Kossakovsky's movie is a feast for the senses, a fascinating kaleidoscope of our planet. VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! - Long Live The Antipodes! What is happening on the point of the earth diametrically opposite... Written by ma.ja.de

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Documentary

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Release Date:

23 February 2012 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Eläköön vastakohdat!  »

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€1,500,000 (estimated)
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1.85 : 1
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This film was seen at the Tribeca film festival in Doha; its second only public showing, which was followed by a Q&A session with the film maker.
1 November 2011 | by (Qatar) – See all my reviews

This film is a geographer's dream, featuring eight places in the world (4 pairs of antipodes). Seven out of the eight sites have very few or no people, which makes it a special joy as our planet's population hits 7 billion! There is little drama, just simple stories of the lives of people interacting with nature, or patient documentation of natural processes, such as lava flowing (Hawaii). In contrast, we see head on, as hundreds of Chinese on bicycles drive onto a ferry in the fog (the only place of the eight where there is a huge population).

The film maker plays with our perceptions of up and down, horizontal and vertical, image and reflection, which requires a good deal of concentration and rotating the head to understand what we are seeing. But eventually its better to just surrender to the abstract beauty of the images that appear on the screen and go with the flow of the film.

In one scene from Patagonia, the camera follows the gliding flight of a condor as it circles down a canyon. We learn afterwards during the Q&A session, that this kind of footage is normally achieved by placing an animal carcass in the bird's habitat to get its attention. The film maker felt that he could not kill an animal for the sake of his film, so he made his son lie at the bottom of the canyon for two hours as he filmed. This is funny, but it also shows a regard for life that is evident all through the film.

To create a film of this high standard requires time, effort and sacrifice (obvious) and also a single-minded vision without compromise. Thank you.


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