Country: Mexico | 2009 | 73 mins
Language: Spanish, Italian Director: Pedro González-Rubio
Pedro González-Rubio is part of Generation Mex–a group of young filmmakers who have emerged as part of a recent revival in Mexican cinema. These new directors have pushed out the old guard and persevere in difficult situations, using public funding and micro-budgets to create films which take aim at Mexico’s social ills, broach difficult subjects, and take stylistic risks. These original and innovative artists are pushing boundaries, challenging stereotypes, and raising the international profile of Mexican films. González-Rubio does all of the above in a film that blurs the line between documentary and fiction.
In an effort to create an intimate environment for his second film, Alamar, González-Rubio wrote, directed, shot and edited the picture himself. Set in a small house on stilts that sits above the crystal-clear blue waters of the Yucatan Peninsula, it explores the bond between a father and son as they share a fishing trip together.
In this documentary, five year-old Natan travels from Italy to spend time with his long-haired father in Mexico who lives along the edge of the coral reefs on Banco Chinchorro. His dad, a Mexi-hippie who fishes by diving into the water with a spear in hand, exposes him to the beauty that sits below the surface of the crisp blue ocean. They spend their days catching fish, gutting them, cooking them, and eating them. They chase birds and try to avoid the alligator that sometimes comes around. They enjoy each other’s company in a world that is far removed from everyday conveniences and distractions. It’s a quiet and tender film that takes you to a faraway place–time slows down and the days blend into each other. You are transported–gently swaying in a hammock, listening to an old radio and the seagulls flying overhead. It’s like a relaxing vacation from the typical super-hero, shoot ‘em up, explosion-filled Hollywood films. Like all vacations, you need to take a deep breath, relax, and force yourself to slow-down–you might resist at first but soon enough you’ll enjoy it’s calm, tranquil pace.