The old man and the sea. The young man and his son. Mexican director Pedro González-Rubio’s film is about both of these relationships, but it is also about the harmony that exists between those involved: between people and nature, and father and son.
Natan is five years old. He is the son of a Mexican father and an Italian mother. Before his parents separate for good and Natan moves with his mother to Rome, his father Jorge is determined to instil in his son the essence of his paternal culture. And so the two set off one day by bus from their home in Playa del Carmen and head south, where they board a boat at the harbour. Their destination is Chinchorro reef, which lies thirty kilometres from Majahual. They are both seasick on the crossing and so are very happy when Matraca, an old fisherman, welcomes them onto the reef and puts them up in his little shed. During the days that follow, father and son accompany Matraca on his fishing trips all over the reef in his motor boat. They catch barracuda, snapper and lobster. Natan learns to snorkel and discovers the fascinating world beneath the waves. He also makes friends with a sea bird that flies by. But when the bird disappears a few days later Natan realises that the time has come to part.
Chinchorro reef is one of the largest coral reefs in the world. It has not yet been recognised as a world heritage site. Pedro González-Rubio’s film draws attention to the dangers that now threaten this extraordinary place. —Berlinale
Pedro González-Rubio (b. 1976, Brussels) lived till age 16 in India where he developed a talent for anthropological photography. In Mexico he studied at the Universidad Intercontinental, graduating in media and communications; back in Europe, he studied direction at the London Film School. In 2005 he and fellow student Carlos Armella shot their first documentary, Toro negro, which, among other honors, took the Horizontes Award for Best Latin American Film at San Sebastian. Armella also worked on a second documentary with Rubio, Common Ground (La tierra compartida, 2007), which follows the work of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñarritu during the filming of Babel. As a cameraman he worked on Born Without (Nacido sin, 2007), and he served as director of photography and editor for his feature directorial debut, To the Sea, which took a Tiger Award at the Rotterdam festival. —KVIFF
"Any critic who could, with a straight face, populate a ten-best list either primarily or exclusively with American films released in one
Above: Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida's Strike Anywhere. This is the second of two reports on the 56th Robert Flaherty Seminar. Fifty