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All Critics (10)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (10)
| Rotten (0)
The film's narcotic strangeness forces you to look again at a familiar headline story, treated unsensationally and sensitively - though at a patience-testing slow pace.
The result is simultaneously elusive and concrete: abstract cinema that packs a punch.
El Mar La Mar is the rare film to subordinate its form to the landscape it's set in. To watch it attentively is to surrender, for ninety minutes, to the slow-motion pace of Sonoran life.
Long stretches of quiet help section off the film's eerie chapters. Here, El mar la mar leaves the viewer to their own thoughts, much in the way migrants might as they journey through "the terrifying silence" of the desert.
A timely artwork that captures that desperate life and death pilgrimage across the Sonoran Desert like no other.
It's the use of sound, rather than image, that gives the film an extra dimension.
if you're up for something more experimental, that is willing to observe patiently and unobtrusively... then you will probably enjoy this film.
The film's approach to exploring the Sonoran Desert and topic of immigration often veers toward the avant-garde.
When Bonnetta teams up with Sniadecki to explore the border, he does so by displaying its accumulated meaning, the way that the hope, desperation, racism, and violence of the Mexico/US border is reaffirmed, its historical and spiritual presence thickened.
El mar la mar should represent a belated show of recognition for Bonnetta's work. As for Sniadecki, well, he just continues to raise the bar.
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