Traversing the Argentine backcountry, long takes of inordinate beauty coalesce with images of natural horror in Lisandro Alonso’s sophomore feature. The slender thread of plot involves a convicted murderer (Argentino Vargas) and his journey upriver to see his daughter after 20 years in prison. The film is essentially a record of Vargas’s survival, meeting basic needs impassively as they arise. Though one sequence is sure to get the sensitive viewer’s goat (pun intended), Alonso delivers no less than he demands: visceral immersion in his protagonist’s precarious existence, harnessing his signature pared-down style to accentuate and embolden the physicality of time’s passage.
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