With less focus on the technical aspects of Mezcal production and more on the traditions and culture of small batch production across Mexico, Agave SOAN also touches on issues of industrialisation, family, climate change and globalisation. I would have liked to have spent more time looking at the stunning variety of the magical agave and the many different types of mezcal produced in this way as well. 3 stars
A beautifully filmed documentary that transcends its ‘infomercial’ genre in a way that’s both spiritual and sensual. Every shot is carefully composed within a rhythmic structure that irresistibly pulls one into the lives of the people it captures. The musical score is subtly layered upon the sounds of streets and the natural world in a way that evokes a kind of magic that invests the ‘real’ world. Beautifully done.
This documentary really gave an up close insight into the world of Mexican tequila and mezcal production. The great cinematography portrays the reality of this business in a family that has been doing this work for generations. It is enlightening to see how production looks in other countries compared to the dull, factory production in the United States. The setting of rural Mexico and the people shown are beautiful.
The film follows three separate families and their journey and hardships in the agave industry. Agave: Spirit of a Nation was a perfect name as not only referring to the alcohol produced but by the way it is produced and the spirit that shines in the families shown in the film.
2.5 Something went awry in pre- and post-production. The actual cinematography is gorgeous, and there are great interview clips. The problem is the structure: it needs to be refined and focused. Right now, we leap around the country and lack voiceover/screen titles to explain what we're seeing. At the end we get narration that might be better at the beginning. Another edit for clarity would help tremendously.
A very enlightening Documentary that sets its cultural and historical tone from the onset, Nick Kovacic and Matthew Riggieri shared the history of agave which is used to make mezcal and tequila. The documentary allows us to explore many places home to agave in Mexico, The explorations of these places added to this movie but seemed to be a weakness of it as the jump from location-to-location was overwhelming at times
Simplicity is everything in this documentary. They did not overproduce and let the people tell the story with the narrator only giving background detail. It had such a beautiful cinematic production in the way it was filmed it was about as smooth as the agave being made within. The incorporation of the following of the families gives better understanding to the origin story.