Scene from the film El Mar La Mar
Scene from the film El Mar La Mar
Scene from the film El Mar La Mar
Scene from the film El Mar La Mar
Scene from the film El Mar La Mar

El Mar La Mar

  • United States
Audio Tracks 

The sun beats down mercilessly on all those who cross the Sonoran Desert between Mexico and the United States. Aside from the few people who live here, it’s the poorest of undocumented immigrants that make the crossing, who have no choice but to take this extremely dangerous route, followed by border guards both official and self-appointed. The horizon seems endlessly far away and deadly dangers lurk everywhere. It’s best to move under the cover of darkness; during the day, being exposed to the heat and sun is enough to make animals and humans perish. Their traces and remains accumulate, fade, decompose and become inscribed into the topography of the landscape, making the absent ever-present as life and death, beauty and dread, hostile light and nights aglitter with stars and promise all continue to exist alongside one another. El mar la mar masterfully weaves together sublime 16-mm shots of nature and weather phenomena, animals, people and the tracks they leave behind with a polyphonic soundtrack, creating a cinematographic exploration of the desert habitat, a multi-faceted panorama of a highly politicised stretch of land, a film poem that conjures up the ocean.

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  • Original Title
    El Mar La Mar
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki
  • Cinematography
    Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki
  • Editing
    Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki
  • Sound
    Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki
  • Runtime
    94 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • United States
  • Format
    • Colour
    • Black & White
  • Festivals
    • Berlinale 2017
    • San Francisco International Film Festival, 2017
    • New York Film Festival, 2017
    • BFI London Film Festival, 2017
    • Vienna International Film Festival, 2017
    • Chicago International Film Festival, 2017
    • AFI FEST, 2017
    • International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, 2017
    • Caligari Film Award, Berlin International Film Festival
    • Dokufest Kosovo
    • Curitiba International Film Festival
    • IndieLisboa
  • Awards
    • Winner – Caligari Film Award, Berlin International Film Festival
    • Winner – Best Film, Dokufest Kosovo
    • Winner – Best Film, Curitiba International Film Festival
    • Winner – Universities Prize, IndieLisboa is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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