Agenda LiterNet/Oana Balaci: TIFF Fantasy Competition, 2022 (X)

The breathtaking landscapes of Bolivia – both literally and figuratively – unfold to us through the eyes of two elderly indigenous Quechua people, by Bolivian screenwriter and director Alejandro Luisa Grisi (and by the camera Barbara Alvarez). his first movie, Utama / Betna, focuses on Virginio and Sissa, an old couple who live in isolation from the outside world and do not want to leave their homelands, despite a terrible drought that has threatened them for some time. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival He was also the lucky winner of the Transylvania Cup and the Audience Award at TIFF.21.

The film’s distribution includes only non-professional actors, coming from the mountainous regions of Bolivia where the action takes place. Grace we Coming up on stage at the end of the show, he recounted how the natives in the two protagonists, Jose Calsina and Luisa Quisby, initially did not agree to appear on screen. But the movie crew Takes Convinced, the two also offered a surprising explanation, with a wide range of feelings, from stubbornness and despair, to embarrassing complacency and self-fulfillment.

UtamaFoot a A color combination of sky and sand, it’s a story about tradition and never letting go, no matter how hard it gets. Although his fragile body was on the verge of collapse, indicated by a heavy cough, Virginia looked forward to the day when the rain would reach the barren soil, and he would be able to live in harmony with Sisa until old age. In the river, where women often walk for miles under the scorching sun to fetch water, the whole women’s community speaks of leaving for the city. For a couple devoted to mountain lands, things get complicated when their nephew Cleaver (Santos Shock), a follower of evolution and technology, always appears with the phone in hand and headphones.

The intergenerational conflict and contradiction between mindsets that arose after his visit is meant to have a tragic end or a happy ending. But Cleaver turns out to be more than a superficial teenager, like his father, Virginio believes. He helps his grandmother carry the water, and gets up in the morning to take the llamas to pasture with his grandfather – cyclamen bottoms are the only artificial and vibrant spot on those lands. He’s not the simple “messenger” as Virginio skeptically calls him, but he does have a personal and express interest: to bring home his healthy grandparents. When the man refuses and Cleaver leaves after a disagreement, he is convinced he was right about it. But the boy came back later with a doctor and drank a lot of water, . showed Wafaa.

The movie reminds us Koozhangal / Pebblesan Indian production of author PS Vinothraj, in the official competition at TIFF.20not only because of the pebbles that Virginio usually gives to Sesa, but also because of the roads that he and his nephew traveled through the desolate regions of Bolivia, similar to those struck by the heroes of the Indians. father son. However, the relationship of the former, though filled with resentment from the proud grandfather, is devoid of the verbal or physical violence that characterizes the latter.

The film’s rhythm is attributed to the protagonist’s heavy breathing and dry cough, but also by the Bolivian drums in the background. “Silence is not always good,” says one Waiting character. This is why the soundtrack, which has its origins in Bolivia and the Quechua people, was meticulously chosen and caught the audience’s attention, with some spectators wanting to know more information after the show.

The metaphor that underpins the film UtamaBoth narratively and visually, it is the Condor, which Virginio Cleaver told on one of his tours—perhaps in the film’s most memorable public space—the animal stands face to face with the protagonist, drawing parallels between the two, but also between the barren rocks that They stand on it and the magnificent mountain in the background that protects the vital water. The condor is an endangered bird, it is equally conservative and proud as its protagonist. So, when he feels that he is about to die, he flies over the edge of the mountain and falls himself, smash and Sharp rock body.

When the village sacrifices a blade to make an offering to the rain god, but the clouds are still too late to cover the sky, Virginio realizes that a greater sacrifice is needed. Death visits the couple’s home in the dark subtly and undisturbed. Soon the rain will visit them. Sesa decides to stay.

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