Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Of men

En el hoyo
Originally uploaded by amnesic_kid.
Beginning of my fourth day at the IDFA festival in Amsterdam. As last year, I took a week off work to watch documentaries and do some interviews with makers. It came exactly on the right moment, after an overhectic period of working several weekends in a row.

I don't know whether it was due to exhaustion or bad picks but nothing struck my really during the first few days. Yesterday it started getting better and this morning will probably be the highlight of the festival.

En el hoyo is a Mexican documentary of men building a motorway bridge around Mexico City. I have seldom seen such an insider-view into the lives of middle-aged real men. They sing, they insult each other and most of all, work hard. The director Juan Carlos Rulfo leaves room for the men and avoids unnecessary explanations of their behaviour. With beautiful speeded-up scenes he gradually reveals the scale and size of the project.

Night changes into day and back into night but the men keep working in a world of shaky ladders, mud, rain, terrible noise, incredible heights and accidents. Building from the soundscape of the construction site Rulfo's documentary goes further on the road tested by Lars von Trier and Björk tried in Dancer in the Dark. Bangs and clongs mix with traditional Mexican rhythms.

Rulfo's work is a compassionate and view into the the friendships of men.

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