A young man leaves a barren, industrial world behind him as he enters a mysterious forest. Moved by curiosity, he goes deep into the forest until coming across a spot lost in time, known in the tales of old as the Hidden Spring, where there is a strange young woman who captivates him. They discover each other, but something in him reminds her of a macabre past, and their reality soon becomes a landscape of ruins where the machinery of the modern world has been reduced to echoes. The relationship between the two is mingled with the return of a violent legend apparently buried in time, one that transforms itself and is demythologized as the line that separates man from nature becomes utterly blurred. Written by
The forest is filled with a mystical and curious spirit, one which has hidden herself from the world for many years. However, her legend lives on, and she will make one last appearance to remind man that her forest must live on.
And so begins Javier Aldabalde's debut short which has already deservedly claimed the Audience Award at the Uruguay International Short Film Festival. A brilliant piece inspired by the silent films of yesteryear, shot in a Terrence Malick-like style and given a powerful postmodern spin, the short is a vivid and outstanding piece of cinema which looks at the natural world and how mankind is effectively destroying it. The film's slow, breathtaking view into industrialisation and its negative effects on the environment is one which is mature, inspired and stimulating, with a powerful message behind it and a brilliant passion which shines far beyond the closing credits.
Aldabalde has a powerful vision which is executed with total control and focus, and with the help of his brilliant cinematographer Karin Porley, he tells a story of central importance to this world in a most original and dark way, full of shadow and vengeance.
This short stands as a cry from the figure of the Hidden Spring in the forest, a cry which needs to be heard or else. The way Aldabalde explores that else is divine. This is truly a short worth watching.
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