Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jorge Machado, Natan Machado Palombini, Nestór Marín, Roberta Palombini
Written by: Pedro González-Rubio
Directed by: Pedro González-Rubio
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Spanish, with English subtitles
Running Time: 73
Date: 09/16/2009

Alamar (2010)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

To the Sea

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Pedro González-Rubio wrote and directed this absolutely breathtaking portrait of a father and son, so realistic that it plays like a documentary. (The people and their situations are real, but the events of the film are created.) It is being released as To the Sea.

It starts with the story of a whirlwind love affair between a man of Mayan heritage, Jorge, and an Italian woman, Roberta. They have a son, Natan, before they realize that their two worlds are just too different and they split up. Alamar begins as Natan goes to spend a little time with his father, a fisherman in the Banco Chinchorro area near Mexico. Jorge -- who works with his father, Natan's grandfather -- goes about his day and teaches Natan all about fishing and boating and snorkeling, as if they were the most amazing new toys. Natan becomes enamored of a beautiful egret he names Blanquita.

There's hardly any conversation, and what there is seems pitched just to pass the time; the sun and the sea and the wind are just as important as the son, father and grandfather. The movie has a very relaxing acceptance of the world's rhythms. It's male bonding at its most natural. Viewed at the San Francisco International Film Festival. González-Rubio won the festival's New Directors Award.

The DVD from Film Movement comes with a short film, Take It Easy.

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