Crab Trap

Crab Trap


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

This is the sort of film that will be lapped up by arthouse cinema lovers who thrive on films with bucketloads of atmosphere and a teaspoonful of plot.

The setting is Colombia, the landscape bleak, the story a reworking of old tradition versus new incomers, the characters either mysterious or lacking development, depending on your viewpoint.

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La Barra is a beach-front village backed by jungle, where the black African-descended locals are continuing the way they have for ever, on the poverty line but getting by. Into their world steps 'white' town boy Daniel (Rodrigo Velez), an enigmatic stranger who has only come in order to go. He's seeking to escape something - a lost love? An old life? Who knows? - but finds himself unable to buy the boat he wants since the town's fishing fleet are currently at sea. Marking time, he forms a friendship with entrepreunerial and feisty youngster Lucia (Yisela Alvarez) and comes to observe the machinations of the only other 'white' guy in town, Paisa - an incomer with 'papers' for the land that the locals have owned for centuries.

Tension mounts, but the overall sensation of watching Crab Trap is overwhelmingly dreamlike and poetic. There is humour, but more a sense of mourning, for an old life passing away as waters are over-fished and where modernisation means drowning out traditional music with rap pumped through speakers on the shoreline. Despite the sparse dialogue and action, Ruiz Navia's debut has a freedom and purity that takes you with it, like a child running wild along the beach.

Reviewed on: 20 Jun 2010
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A newcomer explores a troubled paradise
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Director: Oscar Ruiz Navia

Starring: Arnobio Salazar Rivas, Rodrigo Vélez

Year: 2009

Runtime: 95 minutes

Country: Colombia, France


EIFF 2010

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