Land and Shade

2015 [SPANISH]


IMDb Rating 7.1 10 1656

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 20, 2021 at 06:39 PM

899.19 MB
Spanish 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 38 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by stndt97 9 / 10

One of the best film of 2015

One can see a large scale banyan tree surrounded by an equal vast, mysterious yet ambiguous milieu. There is a house, in other words, a cottage, and a road, surrounded and guarded by large crops. A rural unnamed village of Colombia, where this simple, very simple things happened once (most probably it is not a contemporary story, because no technological advancement can be seen, even not cellphone, which is indispensable is spite of hard poverty). But obviously it is a universal tale. Stunning, sometime beautiful and sometime just brilliant.

Cinema, after Godard, have seen a great change. Like 'atonality' in music, there are great deal of movies, that are without bold story-line. I think somewhere between this two extremes, lies the successful movies of our age. There are some fragments of story, but the director is more interested to reveal the inner psychology of the characters. (Like Michael Haneke in Amour, or Nuri Bilge Ceylan in Wintersleep.) Undoubtedly, this movie belongs to this category, and even expands its horizon.

There you can see a long, long shot at the very beginning of the movie. A man is coming, merely invisible at first, then camera waits for the person. Suddenly, a large truck passes by, and the screen is filled by poisonous black dust. Well, the director shows us the main cause of the conflict in the plot, (though the story-line is mostly blurred) with his ability to make, or rather ornament his movie with things like that. Then we get an antecedent-consequent phrase like image, boldly the contrast of light and dark. After the huge light, we come into almost an invisible indoor place, where another man laying for his chest problem and his wife and son are suffering from their trauma.

Well, I don't want to go to every scene of the film, that will be meaningless, but I have to say, then, for almost 30 minutes, the director set his film alternatively in four places. They are coming one by one like a Rondo form, and the main themes of the movie unfolds.

There is one scene, where from an open window (which was open almost 12 years after) we can see the green land, almost like a TV screen, camera stays there fully focused, in the soundtrack we can hear the mourning of the man, who will die after sometime. His illness, perhaps creates an unseen and unfeeling bond between the characters of the family who are stranger to each other for a long time. There was only one song, obviously incidental music, a folk song perhaps, with a dissonant yet attractive tune and a lyrics, subtitled by 'Love, written in tears'. That song is hovering my head after seeing the film, though I heard it only one. The fire scene, is the film's one of the most stunning, harsh poetic scene. Suddenly, when they went away from their land, I remembered the Indian Classic "Pather Panchali" with this same emotions and integrity. The best film I've seen in the 21st Kolkata International film festival.

I hope to see it in the top ten 'Sight and Sound' pole of 2015 films.

Reviewed by Reno-Rangan 7 / 10

Not far from losing the birthplace of human civilisation.

Not everybody's pick of the year. Everybody does not know this film even exist. This is the director's ambitious project, to depict on the screen the world he had come from. So it is much an awareness film about struggling rural society. Usually critics favour this kind of film. But not to be watched for the entertainment purpose. Surely you will be bored to death. This is a challenging film to watch that tests your patience. Even I had a slight trouble finish watching it, but at the end I'm satisfied for it is what it is.

Average film's runtime, so if you have been focused since the beginning, particularly without any interference, then that's good. You will get the characters and their condition, which is most important in this film. There's no complication to understand it. It is a simple story, but very realistic portrayal like a documentary film without any background commentary. Centres on the falling rural economy and how people are coping with it. I think this is a very essential film for todays people from big cities to understand the situation of the other side of the human civilisation.

The film does not focus on entire village, but follows a small family. It is a place where they all depended on the sugar cane that grown in the field. And it is about a harvest season, everybody's working hard, but not paid enough for their effort. A man who had left the place and family behind a long ago returns. The purpose of the visit is his son who is very sick. So from his perspective the film reveals why he had left the place and the trouble the villagers facing, economically as well as environmentally.

❝I couldn't stay here and see all of this disappear before my very eyes.❞

The message was loud and clear. The film does not simply shows sympathy, but falling apart countryside due to multiple issues including poverty and pollution. There's no separately layered narration to highlight them, but the family this story is based on revolves around most of those matters. I would say, it was a good writing, keeping in order and going after big topic. The director did a wonderful job. I would also say watching a film like this is definitely not a waste of time. But how far it reaches and people come to realise will be a big question. Because such small films are easily ignored globally.

When we discuss about harming the environment, it is always cities and industries are blamed. But the truth is every corner of the earth where humans have settled down is causing the disruption in the order of nature. This film is one of the good examples of getting rid of cliché in such theme and trying to be honest. The amount of disturbance in nature might be less, but the outcome is the same. I think such film should be recognised in the bigger platforms. This is the age we live in where awareness needed about the awareness films. What we have become.

A heartbreaking family tale, as well as their concerned environment, the film covered two topics so brilliantly. Well performed actors and I liked the locations. Even though the places are polluted, especially during the harvest, such quietness is very relaxing. I do remember in my childhood during visiting grandparents in their village, sitting lazily after having a lunch under the shades of a tree on a hot summer day was so cool experience. Now we're losing that, and I think that's the closest what this title means. The final frontier, the edge of world where humans and nature meets. Like I said the film is not for everyone, watching capacity wise, but its concern everybody. If you are okay with slow pace narration, then you should try it.


Reviewed by runamokprods 8 / 10

Terrific images and acting, moving and close to greatness

Beautifully shot, full of long contemplative takes, this story of the hardship of a family who work for a sugar-cane farm in rural Columbia has many powerful moments, and much righteous anger at what the large farm does both to the local ecology and to the underpaid (or NOT paid) workers. And it only grew on 2nd viewing when I went into it prepared for it's slow pace and understated and quiet emotionality.

An old man (Alonso) returns to his family after living as an outcast, to help care for his grandson while his wife and daughter in law struggle in the cane fields to make a living, and while his son lies deathly ill from the endless pollution from the burning fields. While the images and ideas are strong, and some of the performances shockingly good from Acevedo's cast of non-professionals, the basic family drama at the heart of the story can occasionally feel a little under-cooked. At times conflicts are easy to get ahead of.

When the film relies on images to tell the story – like the snowstorms of ash that envelope the family home and the characters – it's shockingly effective. When things are talked about at length, it's more hit or miss. There are wonderful human scenes and others that can feel a bit on the nose, a bit expositional. The strength and the mild weakness of the film was captured by the brilliant, several minute long opening shot. As Alonso walks down a gravel road towards us, a truck slowly bears down on him in the distance. When the truck actually passes, the old man is all buy lost in the cloud of gray dust it kicks up, It's a great image that tells a whole story at once. The problem is it's one of the best images in the film, and sums up all the themes to come so brilliantly, that in a weird way entire film that follows feels – thematically at the least - like an epilogue. That sounds far harsher than it could be taken. The film is full of worthwhile moments and characters that evolve. But if feels frustratingly close to greatness, without quite getting there.

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