Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Original title: El Verano de los Peces Voladores
Chile/France, 2013. ARTE, Centre National du Cinema et de L’Image Animee, Cinémadefacto, Cofinova 9, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, Corfo, Dirección de Asuntos Culturales del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Fonds Sud Cinéma, Gobierno de Chile, Institut Francais, Jirafa, Kine-Imágenes Producciones, L90 Cine Digital, Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, Region Ile-de-France. Screenplay by Julio Rojas, Marcela Said. Cinematography by Inti Briones. Produced by Sophie Erbs. Music by Alexander Zekke. Film Editing by Jean de Certeau. Toronto International Film Festival 2013.
A solid debut from director Marcela Said that is dampened only by the highly familiar nature of the narrative. Manena is a teenager whose well-to-do family own a summer home where she spends her vacations in the wilds of Chile’s gorgeous southern landscape. As she comes of age and her friendship with a local (poor) boy ripens, her family deals with the land claims of the local indigenous population and her father is particularly obsessed with removing carp from the lake on his property that he feels is an infestation. The irony, of course, is that these self-righteous people with their sense of entitlement are the ones infesting the land. Everything is subtly played and nothing is overstated in this gorgeously photographed drama, but that’s partly what makes it so unremarkable. Said has gone to the school of Lucrezia Martel and a dozen other members of South American social realism and graduated with top honours, her voice her own but her message, although still unresolved in the political climate, nonetheless an old one.