Alamar

Jorge (Jorge Machado) and Roberta (Roberta Palombini) have been separated for several years. They simply come from opposite worlds: he likes an uncomplicated life in the jungle while she prefers a more urban existence. He is Mexican and she is Italian, and she has decided to return to Rome with their five-year-old son, Natan (Natan Machado Palombini). But before they leave, Jorge wishes to take young Natan on a trip, hoping to teach him about his origins in Mexico. At first the boy is physically and emotionally uncomfortable with the whole affair, and gets seasick on the boat taking them to their destination. But as father and son spend more time together, Natan begins a learning experience that will remain with him forever.

Jorge takes Natan to Chinchorro, home to the second-largest coral reef on the planet and one of the few places in the Mexican Caribbean with an intact ecosystem. Living simply in a wooden palafite (a shack constructed on stakes) in front of the quay, they spend their days fishing with the experienced Matraca (Nestor Marin), and Natan learns the value of catching his own food. The area is also home to all kinds of exotic animals, and Natan is amazed by the iguanas, crocodiles and seabirds that surround them – a natural world previously unknown to him. Father and son share an important experience when Jorge teaches Natan to snorkel, showing him the beauty of the underwater realm. At first the child is hesitant, but with time and the help of his father, he learns to do it alone.

The relationship between man and nature is subtly revealed as we bear witness to the day-to-day existence of the fishermen in Chinchorro, who still spear for lobster and live with few modern conveniences. Riding a thin line between fiction and documentary, filmmaker Pedro González-Rubio weaves a delicate, moving narrative in this fine second feature. Via Jorge and Natan’s story, González-Rubio brings us to a remote region in Mexico and puts us in touch with a very pure way of life. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]