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ALAMAR -TO THE SEA
Member Name: Machair1
Advantages: A film which celebrates life in all its simplicity
Disadvantages: No real plot for anyone who seeks action!
Actors: Jorge Machado, Roberta Palombini, Natan Machado Palombini, Néstor Marín
* Directors: Pedro Gonzalez Rubio
* Format: PAL
* Region: Region 2
* Number of discs: 1
* Classification: U
* Studio: New Wave Films
* DVD Release Date: 28 Feb 2011
* Run Time: 73 minutes
Available from Amazon for £6.99 with free delivery.
DVD only review.
Alamar, which means "To The Sea" is a journey of discovery and a meditation on simplicity for it tells the story of a young boy born to people from different worlds. The mother is (Roberta Palombini) an Italian living in cosmopolitan Rome, and the father is a Mexican fisherman (Jorge Machado) who adores the simplistic life alongside nature - a million miles away from the materialism of the west. The two meet and fall in love when he visits Rome, and their son ( Natan) is the joy they share, but sadly after a short period of time their cultural differences cause a rift between them, and the father returns to Mexico to fish the coral reefs of the Banco Chichorro.
The story of the film is the tale of the time the son spends with his father and grandfather during the long summer months when he visits. It is a tale of love and relationships set in stunning scenery. For what happens after they meet during the summer you must watch the film.
My daughter recommended this film to me, and at first I was sceptical as it is in Spanish with English subtitles and sometimes I find this distracting in a film. However I thought the subject matter was of interest and so I settled down to watch the film with an open mind. It isn't very long at all - only 73 minutes, and in many ways I found it to be more of a documentary on life than a drama. You are given prime seats to view reality. It's like a birds eye view on a tiny family living in the most amazing setting.
A simple wooden home on stilts in the water, days spent fishing, evenings watching stars, simple meals, stunning interaction between man and wildlife both in the water and on the shore, and all the time a portrayal of love between father, grandfather and five year old Natan.
Arguments are missing- there is no dwelling on the heartache between husband and wife - no custody battles -no rowing or bitterness, but rather a positive look at life through the eyes of innocence.
I felt connected to the place -part of it. After an hour I realised I had been entranced by the beauty of the landscape and the simple days spent in the open air. This film is a joyous celebration of Natan's short 5 years, rather than a depiction of a relationship breakdown with him in the middle. He isn't the toy in the cracker being pulled in two directions, but the product of a loving relationship where two people just couldn't live in each other's worlds.
This is the first time the director Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio took credit for a solo production, which has gone on to win many film festival awards all over the world.He was responsible for the stunning filming, directing, editing and also the writing of this film, which is augmented by the superb performances by the three main characters that play their parts so accurately, and ensure the film makes compelling viewing. The director has a love for the region and an empathy and admiration for those that live there, and this film is the result of this respect
The film moves at a gentle pace, the sea and the sky framing each day, lighting the horizon in stunning azure light. The cinematography is beautiful with superb underwater footage of coral reef and marine life. It is like opening a copy of The National Geographic magazine and being immersed in the colourful pages for an hour. If you like action and plot - forget it - if you are happy to observe and be guided then this film is for you.
I have seen it several times now and each time I feel more relaxed. It's like a meditation- no cars, no TV, no iPod, no shops- just a celebration of simplicity.
There are No Extras On This DVD
There are no DVD extras and no prohibitive certificates. This is a PG film to be enjoyed by all. There are some scenes depicting fishing which personally I dislike being vegetarian, but in the context of the film and the lives that depend on it it's fine with me.
I don't keep many DVDs in my permanent collection.They have to be superb to warrant shelf space, and to be my treasures they have to offer something special.This does more than that and it sits with the best.
The Times newspaper called this a docudrama and I would agree with this. It is a unique film which I adore and can recommend to anyone. It is like looking at life through five year old eyes where everything is new and fresh, innocent and enchanting.
This review was previously published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
Summary: A film I can recommend to anyone seeking to simplify their life.