This film is a poetic observation of the last survivors of the Aymara culture in the Surire salt flat, located in the Chilean high plateau at 4,300 meters over the sea level.
Surire, the power of the cinematic narrative in full display
With zero voiceovers or musical score, each frame in this piece is a photography prize waiting to happen.
The Salar de Surire Natural Monument, located in the northern extreme of Chile, is the star of this contemplative documentary. With a decidedly calm pace, Surire is saved from boredom thanks to the dedication and preciousness of each shot.
Surire gives a paradoxical impression. A vast, cold, isolated place that instead of being openly hostile is full of life, with a variety of flora and fauna and constant economic and tourism activity.
Centered on the life of an elderly Aymara couple in this unique place in the world, the result is a document with a unique texture. Each scene has a reason for its existence. From the battered feet of the protagonist, a thirsty dog, or a couple waiting for a ride on the side of the road, each frame is a brilliant decision towards the narrative.
The recurring motif is evident. Always in the foreground is the nature in form of llamas, flamingos, vicuñas and the rural daily life of our protagonists, while in the background the latent threat of the exploitation machinery of progress threatens to relegate natural beauty and ancient cultures to the decline.
It’s a consistent, beautiful and powerful collection of well-designed sequences. Directors Ivan Osnovikoff and Bettina Perut, alongside cinematographer Pablo Valdes, have done a splendid technical use of depth of field to intensify this tale about human nature and their environment.