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¡Vivan las Antipodas!

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Victor Kossakovsky
Country of origin and year
Germany/Argentina/Netherlands/Chile 2011
108 minutes
Rated U - Contains sight of dead beached whale being cut up and buried

Spanish, English, Aboriginal, Russian, Shanghainese and Tswana with English subtitles

Filmhouse’s second release as distributor is an audacious, contemplative and stunningly cinematic documentary. Antipodes are places diametrically opposite one another on the earth’s surface, but, because most of the planet is covered by oceans, antipodes with dry land on both sides are fairly rare.

Master documentarist Victor Kossakovsky takes us to four antipodal pairs, and, in doing so, changes the way we see our world. In rural Entre Rios, Argentina, two brothers man a toll bridge; on the other side of the world from them is Shanghai, with its traffic, noise and crowds. In Patagonia, Chile, a sheep farmer lives a solitary existence; near Lake Baikal in Russia a woman and her daughter seem also to live miles from anywhere, surrounded by spectacular mountains. On Hawaii’s Big Island, a man loses his dog in the black, shimmering, volcanic landscape; in Botswana, a woman complains she has to clean up elephant dung from in front of her shop. In Miraflores, Spain, there are rock pools and butterflies; in Castle Point, New Zealand, a whale has washed up onto the beach.

Kossakovsky’s extraordinarily fluid camerawork glides, swoops, somersaults, spins and flips between these locations, and we begin to notice the things that join the places and people, rather than what separates them.


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