An uninhabited island lies across a fishermen's cove on the south of Chile. Manuel Ribera arrives at its shores one evening aboard a precarious boat; he is here to claim this territory as ...
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An uninhabited island lies across a fishermen's cove on the south of Chile. Manuel Ribera arrives at its shores one evening aboard a precarious boat; he is here to claim this territory as an inheritance. Jobless, with no family or money, he will slowly inmerse in these surroundings to give shape to his innermost desire: the founding of a community where he can satisfy his secret thirst for power.Written by
Interesting film, slowly developing in style with location and its inhabitants
This film was part of the "Bright Futures" track on the Rotterdam Film Festival 2010, and it really deserves its place there. We enter a landscape and a village that looks far away from ours. Apart from a random mobile phone owned by one of the locals, most other modern trends seems to have avoided this part of the world.
The slow pace that is maintained throughout the story, is a close match with this environment and as such crucial for the viewer experience. On the other hand, more than enough happens throughout the film, most of these contrary to expectations, thereby making it never boring overall.
An very important role in the film lies in the village people, in our view moving slow and seeming far away from the rest of the world. We see incomprehensible dialogs in the local pub, about things that seem important in their eyes but we fail to grasp the relevance. It is not easy for the new citizen Manuel to get things done in this world. He apparently does not blend in with the crowd, and does not want to, eventually leading to dramatic developments.
What Manuel needs and what the people need, is an impossible match. Some of the people help him some of the time, but the underlying reasoning to go along or to refuse remain unexplained. That goes well with the theme of the film, as we (from an other world) probably will never come to understand why these people think they live satisfying lives and don't need any outsider. I myself was brought up in a small village, though not retarded like this one. From that perspective I can only admire the casting of this film, as all local characters looked very genuine in my eyes.
Nevertheless, Manuel needs thèm for some of the tasks before him. He does not take it well when cooperation differs from what he wants, or even when it works against him. That leads to responses from the village people which are equally unpredictable. The net result is more or less self-destructive for Manuel and what he wanted to achieve.
In the final Q&A with the film makers who were present at the screening in Rotterdam, many interesting things came to light as a bonus. We saw an end product that was the result of an iterative process (a constructive variant of "trial and error"). It may not be the most efficient way to produce such a movie, but the net result provides for a well balanced attention to all characters, in combination with the village people and the landscape that are equally important.
A second interesting thing mentioned by the film makers was that the village and its people may look outdated, but that does not bother the inhabitants. These people are well aware that the rest of the world is different from theirs. They don't need all that within the foreseeable future. Within the next 10 or 20 years not much will move in this village or change within its people.
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