Eye For Film >> Movies >> One Sister (2016) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
The sense of loss is palpable even in the title of Verena Kuri and Sofia Brockenshire's debut feature - One Sister, alone without the other. Lupe Dominguez is the second half of the sister act, but she has already vanished by the time we meet her sibling Alba (Sofia Palomino). Past the first flurry of panic, Alba searches for her sister on the fringes of the rural town where they live in between spells of fruitlessly taking on bureaucracy.
Bigger on atmospherics than narrative, Kuri and Brockenshire's Argentina is a damp and autumnal place, where a mist hangs hauntingly over the local lakeside and the grass has faded to a post-summer yellow. The melancholy is reflected in Alba, caught between a desire to curl into a ball and the urge to plough on relentlessly looking for her sister, spurred perhaps by her toddler nephew at home, playing invisible peek-a-boo with the mama he doesn't understand may not be coming back.
There are echoes of the past. When Alba shows one woman Lupe's photo, she tells her: "My sister also disappeared. I never saw her again." A chilling reminder of Argentina's Dirty War and the more than 6000 "desparacidos". But despite their grip on mood, the action struggles to expand enough to fill even the short 69-minute running time, with the story perhaps a victim of the time constraints faced by filmmakers in the Biennale College, who have less than a year to bring their projects to fruition.
Palomino is good but there is only so often we can watch her walking the countryside without joining her in yearning for something more tangible and concrete. Late stage events may be poetic but they don't emerge as organically as they should, arriving as a sudden flurry of action after the quiet longing of what has gone before.
One Sister is available to view on Sala Web until September 14 for €4.Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2016
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