Pedro González-Rubio (Alamar, New Directors Prizewinner SFIFF 2010) blends documentary and narrative as he observes the few remaining inhabitants of an isolated Japanese town as they pray to their gods, collect flowers for graves and worry about “crossing the great river.” Surrounded by alpine splendor, these mountain residents live in accordance with nature. —SFIFF
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
FNC '12 Gonzalez-Rubio follows up the powerful "Alamar' with this weak but pretty entry shot in a Japanese villiage almost deserted by its former inhabitants. Only a couple households remain with aged who seem to know their time is almost done. Shot by the director himself, the cinematography is quite tranquil and beautiful to look at but underneath it all the film's point remains elusive in this foray into docu.
The Museum of the Moving Image’s First Look series provides a strong, welcome antidote to January’s anemic cinematic landscape.
A wrap-up overview of Locarno—which turns out to be the last under Artistic Director Olivier Père—its prize-winners and highlights.