The protean Argentinean director Lisandro Alonso (La Libertad, NYFF39; Jauja, NYFF52) continues to shapeshift, delight, and challenge with his marvelous and immersive new film, which takes the viewer on an unexpected journey through three stories set in wildly different terrain, each of them reflecting lives haunted by the specter of colonialist violence. In the first, Viggo Mortensen and Chiara Mastroianni guest-star in a black-and-white neo-Western pastiche following a taciturn gunslinger seeking revenge in a lawless frontier town. In the second section, in a different kind of law-and-order narrative, set during the present day in the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, we accompany a Native American cop (Alaina Clifford) on her nighttime patrols, revealing a community troubled by addiction and poverty, but also, because of the cop’s good-hearted basketball coach niece (Sadie Lapointe), touched by transcendence. Finally, the film travels to the magnificent Brazilian rainforest of the 1970s, where Indigenous workers pan for gold while articulating their dream lives. Cleverly transitioning between segments without hand-holding the viewer, Alonso has created an improbably unified aesthetic experience that leaves it up to us to make the connections among its transient worlds.
Recommended Film Comment reading:
- Interview: Lisandro Alonso on Eureka (2023)
- The Film Comment Podcast: Eureka (Cannes 2023)
- Cannes 2023 Dispatch: Eureka
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