El mar la mar (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

El mar la mar (2018)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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An immersive and enthralling journey through the Sonoran Desert on the U.S.-Mexico border, El Mar La Mar weaves together harrowing oral histories from the area with hand-processed 16mm images of flora, fauna and items left behind by travelers. Subjects speak of intense, mythic experiences in the desert: A man tells of a fifteen-foot-tall monster said to haunt the region, while a border patrolman spins a similarly bizarre tale of man versus beast. A sonically rich soundtrack adds to the eerie atmosphere as the call of birds and other nocturnal noises invisibly populate the austere landscape. Emerging from the ethos of Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab, J.P. Sniadecki's attentive documentary approach mixes perfectly with Joshua Bonnetta's meditations on the materiality of film. Together, they've created an experience of the border region like nothing you've seen, heard or felt before.


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Critic Reviews for El mar la mar

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

The result is simultaneously elusive and concrete: abstract cinema that packs a punch.

February 22, 2018 | Full Review…

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.

February 21, 2018 | Full Review…

The film's approach to exploring the Sonoran Desert and topic of immigration often veers toward the avant-garde.

February 19, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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.

November 17, 2017 | Full Review…

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.

August 29, 2017 | Full Review…

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