Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Qué Tan Lejos (How Much Further)

I had the feeling that this film was like a documentary that “documents” Ecuador beauty, different people beliefs/behavior, and a reality that you never see but it’s constantly told by everything that happens. As a document is very nice to watch, but as a film is not that easy to watch as there is a narrative, but becomes tedious to watch because I believe the filmmaker tries (and succeeds) to be so much didactic, that at times becomes really annoying –especially the voice over with the presentation of the characters and special sites during the trip. Still I watched the entire movie because the landscapes of rural Ecuador are really beautiful to watch and well, is my first ever Ecuadorian movie.

This is a road movie that begins with Esperanza (hope) arriving to Ecuador from Barcelona on her yearly tourist trip as she works at a travel agency. Then we meet Quito’s university student Teresa -that later calls herself Tristeza (sadness)- that decides to stop her boyfriend wedding in Cuenca and both Esperanza and Tristeza seat side by side in the bus to Cuenca. But everything stopped in Ecuador and the roads are blocked. So they decide to continue the trip hitchhiking; eventually they meet Jesus that joins the two. So you have hope, sadness and Jesus traveling together. The last sentence gives you an idea of what could have been quite an interesting story, but in this movie is not as the writer/director tries to do so many things that ends totally lost in the union of narrative and visuals to end creating a document of many things that happen in Ecuador and by the way, in many other countries in Latin America.

Tech specs are not that bad, but I find non-actors performances really not good and well, perhaps is due to the fact that this is Tania Hermida first film and dealing with non-actors is not her forte at all.

The movie traveled the fest circuit in continental America festivals and won one award at the 2006 Havana fest and another in the 2006 Montreal World fest, with two more nominations in the 2006 Sao Paulo fest and the 2008 Cartagena fest.

I cannot recommend the movie, but if you have never been to Ecuador and wish to see the beauty of the country, then this movie is for you.

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

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