Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Great Movement (2021) Film Review
The Great Movement
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
The latest film from Bolivian writer/director Kiro Russo picks up where his previous, Dark Skull, both thematically, since it continues to follow the exploits (not to mention exploitation) of miner Elder (Julio Cezar Ticona), and in its style, which is immersive and experimental. Where previously, Russ and his cinematographer Pablo Paniagua buried us within the underworld landscape of the rural mines, this time around its the cityscape of La Paz - a world of aural onslaught of building work and tower blocks - that is contrasted with the lush green rural spaces that lie just beyond its borders.
As before the central story is slight in nature, as Elder - in poor health from his time in the mines as well as, most likely, the drink problem the previous film highlighted - has walked to the city with his friends in order to protest the loss of their jobs, but the multi-layered emotional consideration of themes, in particular the clash of cultural traditions and modernity - the building up of the city mirroring the destruction of the people within it and the natural landscape - are resonant and engaging.
The traditional is represented here by Mamá Pancha (Francisca Arce de Aro), an old lady who takes Elder under her wing and a shamanic healer Max (Max Eduardo Bautista Uchasara), whom she hopes can help the younger man. Scenes involving Max musing as he walks through the verdant and calm forest contrast sharply with the chaos of the city, where the lives of thousands rush about unseen and where people have little time for the traditions of the past. Russo has no fear of moving between styles, finding moments of docureal humour down at the market where Elder and his friends find piecework but often sliding into much more experimental and psychological landscapes, as we see the images that haunt Elder's fever-soaked nights, not to mention an entirely unexpected but quirkily enjoyable dance sequence.
Russo has a real feel for lives of the everyday and a knack, on the whole for keeping his films on the intriguing rather than frustrating side of enigmatic.Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2021
If you like this, try:Dark Skull