Set in a remote village, deep in cactus covered mountains, two women are pregnant by the same man. Angele is the man's stepdaughter and Chebe's husband is away working somewhere else. La Tirisia follows the lives of these women and their families and friends.
Nothing much happens in this village, other than the occasional visit from a troupe of clown acrobats and a political hustings where so few people turn up the candidate can't be bothered to stop and speak (a scene full of humour). So the individual dramas going on in these women's lives are noted and commented on, though without too much overt negativity outwith the women's closest circles. Angele helps her family with their work in the salt fields, while seemingly in denial about the fact she's soon to become a mother. Cheba meanwhile looks after her growing family, helped by her gay best friend, and waits anxiously for her husband's return
Life is dominated by the starkly magnificent landscape and the amazing cacti as much as it is by the church. The dusty ochre palette is occasionally brightened by the red of bougainvillea and carnations. Dialogue is sparse and much of the story is told through the low key-actions and body language of the characters, which in this film works much better than it does in some similarly quiet films.
This is a beautiful, sensitively made film that will linger in the mind.
La Tirisia is showing as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival:
16.25, 21 June and 1340, 28 June both at Filmhouse.
You can read my reviews of other films from this year's festival by following the links below:
When Elephants Fight - conflict minerals in Congo
Iron Ministry - a cinematic journey through China by rail
Index Zero - dystopian SF set in a future Fortress Europe
30 Days Wild goes to the cinema - how the landscape backdrops two films set in very different countries (Sand Dollars and The Gulls)
Disclaimer - I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and saw a free press screening of this film.