An island of tranquillity in a sea of sound: this is how death is introduced in The Last Land. Pablo Lamar’s background as a sound engineer makes itself felt in his feature debut. The composition of ambient sounds demands at least as much attention as the carefully framed images in the long, static shots.
A man is sitting at his wife’s death bed. He feeds her, watches over her and reassures her. After she dies, in the early morning, he takes care of her body. Loving actions calmly carried out evoke a relationship between two people who have shared a whole life and are now separated forever. She is no longer part of time, while he has to continue, rudderless. He seeks solace in practical things - digging the grave, washing the body - while a sorrow wells up in him that traditional mourning rituals are powerless to overcome. His response is a gesture as radical as death itself.
Corresponding to the pared-down form, the narrative has also been reduced to the essential: the world in which the couple live consists of nothing more than their simple house, the surrounding nature and each other. There are strong resonances of the films of Carlos Reygadas and the early work of Lisandro Alonso in Lamar’s impressionist approach, with a great deal of attention to the physical aspect of the relationship between the characters and their relationship to the environment. Winner Hivos Tiger Awards Special Jury Award 2016.