Por El Camino (Siff 2011)

Por El Camino [ Brazil (Spanish, English), 2010, 84 minutes ]
Director: Charly Braun
Principal Cast: Jill Mulleady, Esteban Feune de Colombi, Guilhermina Guinle
See it: June 9, 11 at SIFF

Santiago is a former Manhattan investment banker who is travelling back to Uruguay to claim a plot of land left to him by his parents. Juliette is a free-spirited Belgian trying to reunite with a commune leader she met while travelling in Costa Rica. The two find each other by chance and embark on a road trip to pursue these goals and try to find where they fit in the world. Along the way they stop at the home of Santi’s uncle, where they meet an array of people at various parties and get-togethers. Later they make their way to Juan’s commune and experience living off the grid. Ultimately they set out again, this time firmly together and ready for their next adventure.

Overall Entertainment / Enjoyment: C+
Por El Camino had the potential of being an interesting road trip movie, with two strangers taking to the Uruguayan countryside to try and find themselves. Unfortunately, I felt it was too slow, and the possibility of interesting interactions with the random people met on road trips turned out to be not as interesting as I would have liked. The scenery at times was beautiful, but the directors choice to include artsy footage (blurry, low-quality film and shaky “out the car window” shots) took away from the beauty for me.

Siff Provided Synopsis
You’ll want to book a trip to Montevideo after watching Por El Camino, Charly Braun’s gorgeous road movie through Uruguay. Santiago, a twenty-something Argentinean, takes a boat to Montevideo to claim land willed to him by his parents. On his way out of the capitol, he notices Juliette, a young Belgian woman who was also on the boat. After discovering they’re heading in the same direction, the two travelers hit the road together. Both are looking to make a change in their lives: Santiago used to be an investment banker in Manhattan, but his parents’ death has inspired him to try something different. Juliette is hoping to ignite a relationship with a Uruguayan commune leader she’d met in Costa Rica. The two strike up a playful friendship as their trip brings them in contact with peculiar locals, Santiago’s wealthy, well-connected family, and the hippy commune’s earthy residents. Braun combines French, U.S., and South American influences with dramatic Uruguayan landscapes and his lead’s relaxed chemistry to create a road movie that captures the airy restlessness of youth, in the tale of two characters who start out digging into their past, only to find they’ve unearthed their present.

 

Provided Film Synopsis

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