Saturday, August 06, 2011

Alamar / To the Sea

Merelle / Till havet. MX © 2009 Mantarraya Producciones / Pedro González-Rubio / I... M... C... P: Pedro González-Rubio, Jaime Romandia. D+SC+DP+PD+ED: Pedro González-Rubio - digital intermediate: Lupe Postproduction. Underwater cinematography: David Torres Castilla, Alexis Zabe. M: Diego Benlliure. S: Rodolfo Romero. Loc: Banco Chinchorro (Quintana Roo), Mexico, near Belize. Cast: Natan Machado Palombini (Natan), Jorge Machado (Jorge), Nestór Marín (Matraca), Roberta Palombini (Roberta). 73 min. A Cinema Mondo release with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Topi Oksanen / Markus Karjalainen. 35 mm print viewed at Maxim 2, Helsinki, 6 Aug 2011.

Before Natan has to return to Italy his Mayan father takes him out to the open sea.

From this slender narrative Pedro González-Rubio creates an engaging movie about a little boy seeing the wonders of nature. The approach is in the same class as Flaherty (Louisiana Story) and Sucksdorff (Det stora äventyret). The result is a fine family film.

There are three generations, son, father, and grandfather, fishing in the traditional way with harpoons and a long line. The little boy is taught to dive. They catch lobsters and barracudas. The grandfather is the professional fisherman. They also eat fish soup and prepare tortillas. Seagulls and frigatebirds hover above. There is even a cattle egret that starts to follow them, called Blanquita. The feeling of the sky and the sea is powerful. On the coast there are mangrove trees, anacahuite, and ziricote.

The composition is fine, but the definition of the image is low, with a heavy digital video look. The sense of full colour is missing. Yet Alamar is screened in a 35 mm print, and it is the only 35 mm print being screened in Finnkino's Helsinki cinemas.

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