Kings of Nowhere ★★★★

If you only know Eric Allen Hatch as "dude who makes UNCLE BOONMEE memes and Photoshops Paul Blart into shit" - or not at all - I definitely recommend you check out his Patreon, which is where I found out about this obscuro gem. KINGS OF NOTHING is a documentary set in a small Mexican town that has become partially submerged, we learn early on, because of a recently constructed dam whose retention powers were greater than anticipated.

One can imagine an angry political documentary about these wronged people, their destroyed town, and their attempts to seek justice, but apart from a few closing title cards, KINGS is *emphatically* not that film. Shot largely on tripod with the occasional mounted tracking shot (boat, car, etc), KINGS follows a year or so in the cycle of the town (the waters rise and fall with the season), which is largely abandoned. Through patient observation - and the stray breaking of the documentary artifice - we get to know the locals, whose countenances, ranging from measured calm to sweet gregariousness, betrays the fear that they face both from their uncertain future and from dark forces lurking in the shadows. Avoiding score entirely - the only music is played by what appear to be the only four children in the town - KINGS will be a bit slow for some, but it's just my speed, and deserves a much wider audience. (Seen on US iTunes; don't think it's legally available in NZ, near as I can tell.)