Thursday 28 June 2012

Vivan Las Antipodas

Antipodes are places and peoples that are diametrically opposite each other on the earth. This beautiful film contemplates life in four antipodal pairs - Russia and Chile, China and Argentina, Botswana and Hawaii, and Spain and New Zealand.As the earth is mostly ocean, there are few antipodes where both are inhabited. I was interested to note that of the antipodes in the film only one is really urban, three are Spanish speaking and two are English speaking (three if you count Botswana, but the people in the film spoke Setswana).

The most different antipodes are rural Argentina (where two men look after a bridge over a river and chat between themselves and the drivers that use the bridge) and Shanghai in China where the crowds bustle through the streets.

The most similar antipodal pair is Russia (where a mother and daughter pick fruits and chop wood by Lake Baikal) and Chile (where a shepherd travels with his herds (along with the cutest and silliest sheep dog ever)).

Condors fly above the mountains in Chile while the shepherd takes his cats for a walk.  The rocks on the Spanish mountains are home to a wonderful array of insects and lizards just as the countryside of Botswana is full of lions, giraffes and elephants. Lava from an active volcano flows down the hillsides in Hawaii. A whale is sadly beached in New Zealand.

(Parts of the film are shown upside down or sideways, which adds to the feeling of antipodes but which can be unsettling to the eyes!)

This is a wonderful film for losing yourself in meditation of the beauty of the world and the interconnections between everywhere. Hopefully, if you get to see the film, you'll be able to see the whole thing. Unlike us! There was a power cut just ten minutes from the end of the film!

Unfortunately also there are no more public screenings of Vivan las Antipodas! at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Disclaimer: I have a press pass for Edinburgh International Film Festival and attended a free press screening of this film.


Caroline Gill said...

Shame about the power cut ... still, you get to invent the ending, I guess! Your descriptions are compelling.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks Caroline, it was a compelling film!