TRAILER: A Girl Searches for Her Lost Father in this Roadtrip Through the Argentine Sierras

It’s sometimes easy to forget that there’s more to Argentina than Buenos Aires (and it often seems that the porteños who inhabit that great city suffer from the same confusion), but with a handful of outstanding national directors like Lucrecia Martel and newcomer Matías Lucchesi representing for la provincia, we outsiders are given an invaluable glimpse into the country’s vastness and regional diversity thanks to their stunning cinematic images and nuanced observations of provincial life. In Lucchesi’s debut feature, the international festival darling Ciencias naturales (Natural Sciences), Argentina’s remote Sierras de Córdoba region becomes the backdrop for a road trip in search of a lost father that’s filled with complex emotions and more than a few breathtaking landscapes.

The film’s protagonist, Lila, is a young girl on the cusp of adolescence determined to break out of her rural boarding school and track down the AWOL father she never knew. After frustrating Lila’s first attempts, a sympathetic teacher bucks the school’s regulations and packs Lila into her station wagon for a quixotic journey in search of a man whose name they don’t even know. Armed with little more than a rusty metal plaque bearing the name of the company her father supposedly once worked for, Lila perseveres despite the many setbacks she encounters along the way.

If for some odd reason, thoughts of Easy Rider’s never ending desert landscapes sprung to mind, you wouldn’t be entirely off, but I would put this one closer to Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers with a touch of Thelma and Louise. And while the film’s premise may be a bit of a stretch (isn’t it technically kidnapping when a schoolteacher runs off with someone else’s child?), the trailer suggests subtle, naturalistic performances from its cast and a poetic, hand-held visual style that gracefully captures the cool light of the Argentine sierra.