Two cops lost in the deep south of Spain. One serial killer to catch. A lot of secrets and lies to disclose.Two cops lost in the deep south of Spain. One serial killer to catch. A lot of secrets and lies to disclose.Two cops lost in the deep south of Spain. One serial killer to catch. A lot of secrets and lies to disclose.
far from home
The time is the early eighties. Two detectives, a good-cop (Pedro) bad-cop (Juan) pairing, are sent to a remote region in Spain to investigate the disappearance of teenage sisters. They uncover a series of brutal murders that the tight-knit community may be complicit in. Set in a Spain slowly emerging from Franco's shadow, Marshland has a wonderfully political noir-ish tone. Opening with birds-eye shots of an other-worldy landscape, that the camera often returns to, the futility and inhumanity of the toils that take place on the ground is constantly invoked by the judicious shot choice. Pedro and Juan have personal concerns beyond the investigation. Pedro's wife is pregnant and not always trusting of him in their separation. Juan has failing health and may not be long for this world. They bring their past as well as their present: Juan was in Franco's Gestapo and may have carried out atrocities, Pedro is being punished for open criticism of the military. They deal with these issues as best they can while navigating local resistance to their investigation and their own wary sense of each other. The characters, setting, tone and pace are all compelling, and the overhead shots add wonder and mystery. There are hints of Mississippi Burning here, and also True Detective and Chinatown - a local oligarch seems amoral and ultimately goes unpunished. But the film wears these influences lightly and portrays its own authentic, self-contained world. This is a stylish thriller that comfortably meshes plot, politics and personal concerns.
- Aug 12, 2015
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