Vaguely set in 1935 during Paraguay’s Chaco War with Bolivia, Encica’s film is made up of a small handful of long takes in long and medium shots of an aging couple waiting for their son, who left to join the war, to return home to his plantation.
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Emotional introduction to Straub-Huillet for rigid skeptics' use, thematically germane to Roque Funes’ ’32 "Hell of Chaco" which seems itself the astro offspring of a directorial pair (Lucchi-Gianikian), PH is Pascal’s Wager applied domestically: the aging parents have everything to win if they believe in their son's return from war but it's terribly hard to keep probabilistic faith serene, resolute, safe from doubt.
the sound of tall harvest of washing a cloth of the dog tied up of the hidden birds (are they there?) of the water in the rain in the stream in the eyes in the potato she's peeling,the sound of what is language when is spoken inside and carried without the use of the gaze of gestures without the use of the body.people and words and nature being all on the same level,communicating by existance. a film on what it is.
Paz Encina creates a microcosm with the lesser means. She develops a large variety of themes —the absurdity of war, the passing of time, the inevitability of death— without turning to conventional cinematographic ways. "La hamaca paraguaya" flows in time, showing the great manners of a brilliant minimalist filmmaker.
Minimalismo en su máxima expresión. Paz Encina anula los tiempos, simplifica planos, pero no deja de dilatar el universo interno de dos personajes atados al tiempo. "Hamaca paraguaya" es un filme sobre la espera, tanto del hijo que va a la guerra, como de esa lluvia que tarda en llegar. Es también un filme sobre la muerte, sobre como se concibe dentro de un contexto limitado. Como si la rutina fuese esperar la muerte