Alamar 2009 ★★★★

Alamar is a film filled with small moments that take on great significance for its two characters. A coming of age story between a father and a son soon to be parted when the son returns back to his mother in Italy. It is a blend of documentary and fiction with colours of eye-popping vibrancy (it is evident that the director has a background in cinematography), Alamar is a film of beauty and simplicity.

The film is a near-wordless look at a way of life seldom captured on film. Living on and off the water, the film documents daily life whether it is the father teaching his son to fish or swimming amongst the stunning reef. What story there is here is very slight, some may even say uneventful, but there is something magical about the simplicity. There is no manufactured drama between the father and son, their bond and affection for each other is never questioned. Yet there is little romanticism or sentimentality about the relationship either, instead it is enchanting and fascinating because of how natural it appears.

There are other characters (a rather friendly egret making an endearing companion) but it is very much a story between man and boy. One of the most interesting elements to the film is that, whilst filled with a contented happiness, there is a hidden melancholy as you realise it may be the only time father and son can bond in this way. It is this unsaid threat to the relationship that makes this fleeting connection all the more powerful. Beautiful.

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