Pedro González-Rubio (Mexico, 2009)
Seemingly fused together with salt spray and sunlight, Alamar floats and bobs along with the rhythms of the surf as two men and a boy fish, prepare food, eat, sleep, work, and talk (barely) along the water. Seagulls hover and flap inches from their heads, crabs and turtles dart and scurry along the beach, sunsets and sunrises come and go, tides rise and fall—and a father, son, and grandfather watch the summer go by. If it sounds simple, it is, but such is the beauty of a film that casually draws together nature and man, documentary and fiction, as if the art of moviemaking were the most innate, heartfelt act in the world. In today’s contemporary cinema landscape, Alamar’s purity of spirit and form comes as a revelation. “I was inspired by the simplicity of happiness,” says director Pedro González-Rubio of this effortlessly beautiful work, set amid the Mexican Caribbean’s spectacular natural beauty and sleepy coastal villages—the Mayan fishing communities of the country’s fabled Banco Chinchorro (home to the world’s second-largest coral reef). Alamar is a crowning example of the renaissance in Mexican independent film, and a memorable testament to the fact that cinema can still draw inspiration from, and dare to capture, the simplicity of happiness.
• Written, Photographed by González-Rubio. With Jorge Machado, Roberta Palombini, Natan Machado Palombini, Nestor Marín “Matraca.” (73 mins)