In 2005, the festival screened the documentary Tropico de cancer, in which Eugenio Polgovsky peered over the shoulders of poverty stricken Mexican desert inhabitants and with his dynamic camera almost literally allowed the viewer to feel what it is to survive there. With his first full-length feature Los herederos, Polgovsky follows the same procedure. Without commentary, the camera hovers hypnotically above the poor hinterland of Mexico.
A gleaming piece of silver foil amuses a baby while his mother works on doggedly. Cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans. Picking, weighing, packing. In the shadow of a fully loaded truck, the smallest children play with the discarded vegetables. They don’t go to school, but already know the benchmarks of their future: “This is still green!” Infants without shoes walk endless distances with a heavy load on their back and do the same work as their parents and ancestors always did. They are the inheritors of harsh rural life.
Supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, Polgovsky filmed for months in the rough, inaccessible countryside. He wanted to share his fury and admiration. Why rage? Because he had observed their lives trapped in misery inherited over generations. Why tenderness? Because these children are talented and they express pride at being able to do something for themselves and contribute to the family income. (Gerwin Tamsma)