One of the landmark films of Latin American cinema, this peripatetic tale of suffering follows a family in the barren and vast hinterland. The family's Calvary is taken with dignity and quietude in this poverty-stricken part of the world. De Santos' neorealism makes effective use of sound as an alienating effect and the theological metonymies may be obvious, yet nonetheless poignant. Superbly photographed too!
The film is visually assaultive in it's intensity of light, to the point where you begin to feel woozy as if you've been out in the sun too long. Or maybe that has something to do with the camera work as well. I haven't seen anything quite like the way the camera is handled in this film. A lot of the shots the frames seem to bend and create weird moments of altering perspective, almost like an inverse form of 3D.
A waterless, not arid film, as concentrated as its scrub-vagabonding thirsty creatures, skin on bones, frugal but striking. Fear as the point of maximal compression of the being. The expectation of the worse after a hard decision causes an inner castling up. More than elsewhere, in fear I am. As I bring myself together in the limits of my being, fear outlines and restricts its domain. Not a part of me remains, loose,
Vidas Secas captures a deeply memorable account of the underdevelopment and vast socio-economic disparity that plagues the Northeast. It impresses with a relentless depiction of its memorable characters and symbiosis between nature and human existence. In center, a family that thinks but rarely speaks,they accept and face the reality of their everyday lives heroically and with impressive stoicism. One to remember.