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Las Acacias

Directed by Pablo Giorgelli

Argentina & Spain, 2011

Cornerhouse, 4 December 2011

Las Acacias

Well, what do you know?  It’s another road movie.

In this one, a mother (Hebe Duarte) and her child, still suckling, are travelling in a truck from Paraguay to the Argentine capital.  She’s going to Buenos Aires to work, the child has (so she says) no father.  You’re aware that she’s getting away from a bad situation.

As for the trucker (Germán de Silva), we learn that he has a son who he rarely gets to see.  During the long journey, the three bond close together: sometimes the truck driver takes and holds the baby, the mother going off to make a phone call.  An understanding, empathy, trust comes into being.

There’s a delicacy to the film: it’s not flashy, it moves slowly and at its own pace, it will not be rushed.  Dialogue is spare and fleeting.  You cannot point to any one event as being key; no one incident is unduly emphasised.

The beauty and power of the film derives from something like this: it shows you a significant event in the lives of these two people, perhaps the child also.  But it shows you it just as it is happening; which is to say, when its significance is not apparent.

As a work of cinema, it is an extraordinary achievement,