Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli, 2011)

Las Acacias
This has to be the quietest, most sedate movie I’ve ever seen. It’s a film for those people who find films like Lost in Translation* too hectic and ‘action driven’. That certainly isn’t too say I didn’t like it. Far from it.

A trucker (German de Silva) sets off in an articulated lorry, transporting logs from virgin forest. En route, he stops at a car park and waits outside his cab, looking pensive. A woman approaches and asks if he is Ruben (he is). He has been paid to transport her from Paraguay to Buonos Aires. She has a little baby with her, who Ruben was not told about and seems unhappy about. The woman, Jacinta (Hebe Duarte) and her baby Anahi are not initially named and the few initial discussions between them are terse and tentative, few in words or obvious import, anything resembling personal discussion being cut off before it really gets going.

There really isn’t much more to say, in terms of plot. When, early on, we saw the reflection of the truck in its own mirror, we were impressed with the beauty of the shot, how realistic it was, and the use of reflections both in the mirrors and in the window-glass behind the characters’ heads is a lovely touch, adding a touch of rarely-seen reality to the scenes. The acting of the two leads, and indeed baby Anahi, is beautifully understated and naturalistic, with plot and characterisation being assisted by lingeringly slow shots, revealing so much in the slow and gradual evolution of an expression. Over the course of the film, we seem to learn a lot about both leads but much is left unsaid and what we do learn is intuited rather than explicitly stated – there is almost nothing in the way of clumsy exposition here.

This really is a lovely film, sweet and gentle.

*and I loved Lost in Translation, too.


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