CINE– Las Acacias, a journey on the Argentine roads
Las Acacias – Pablo Giorgelli – 2011
Because of its vastness, the mastering of Argentine’s territory was made primarily by the construction of major roads. It is on one of these roads between Asuncion and Buenos Aires that the director, Pablo Giorgelli, invite us. His film, Las Acacias is an unexpected journey that under his austere air takes the path of a feel-good movie.
We must admit that it’s not the most explosive pitch of the2012’s start: a trucker originally from Paraguay, which with its cargo of acacias and in spite of himself, sailed a Guarani young woman accompanied with her few months old daughter. What should happens happens then: the wild trucker is to be tamed by the two lovely fleeting.
Beyond a post-it scenario and a predictable frame (but still well built), it’s the sincerity of the speech which is the strength of this film. In contrast to the work routine and the difficulties of life in general, the unexpected encounter between these three human beings will cause something simple but magical.
Let’s analyze the situation: Ruben the trucker must resolve to live with these two strangers that enter his intimate space that is the cab of his truck. The young woman, Hebe, though intimidated by the harshness of the driver, must make its voice heard to ensure the comfort of her baby. The expected clash between these two characters is transformed against all odds in an harmonious relationship. Where does the prodigy come from? From a tiny catalyst, the major and great finding of this film: Anahi, the 6th months old girl.
Adorable, full of expressions and smiles, the little Pablo Giorgelli’s actress embellishes this trip and embodies, by its only presence, the joy and the renewed confidence in the future. If a lifetime is needed to get to know each other, it seems that a travel already allows creating a lot of humanity, trust and affection between three strangers.
From a cinematic point of view it must be said that the film deserves its 18 nominations and six awards from around the world; including the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 2011. The direction is sometimes radical and gives us a lot of memorable sequences. For example: Ruben suddenly park his truck on the roadside to get out quickly to smoke a cigarette and not to incommode his passengers. This sequence demonstrates the freedom of the Argentine filmmaker narration, not hesitating to break the rhythm of the journey and to impose a vital slowness to certain sequences.
The real value of the film is this attention that is paid to the trip details. The Acacias is primarily a picture of Argentina on the road. One may wonder if the story of the trio of passengers is not an excuse for the director to film a series of roadside environments. But the smiles of the little Anahi quickly restore the weight of the fictional aspect of the film.
In all these pretty pictures, the image of Reuben among the red flags in a ritual in honor of Gilles Gaucho (protector of the road), will remain one of the most enduring one, as a perfect incarnation of the mythical roads of Argentina.