Before moving to Italy with his mother, five year-old Natan (Machado Palombini) embarks on a journey across Mexico to the Caribbean with his father (Jorge Machado) where the pair begin to form a tender bond.
This pseudo-documentary combines footage of daily life in a stilt hut on Mexico’s Banco Chinchorro and incidents staged by the director. Ordinarily, such contrivance would undermine authenticity, but everything feels entirely in keeping with the routine of reef fishermen employing both traditional and modern methods. Moreover, the bond between Jorge Machado and Natan (the Italian son he rarely sees) is poignantly, but never sentimentally, presented. Thus the ease of the interaction between Jorge, Natan and veteran Matraca (Néstor Marín) reflects the languid pace of an existence that is periodically enlivened by hungry crocodiles and a friendly egret. Celebrating respect for the environment and each other, this is a joy.
A joyous exploration of family life that will touch and surprise.
Reviewed by David Parkinson