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4.5 out of 5 stars
Alamar [DVD]
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2011
ALAMAR (2009) is a visually stunning documentary-style movie set, for the most part, in the beautiful area of Banco Chinchorro, Mexico; a coral reef in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Belize. A young boy is taken by his Mexican father to spend a short vacation on the reef.

'Banco Chinchorro is the richest coral reef site in Mexico and is part of the second largest coral reef barrier on the planet. Birthplace and home of a unique wildlife, efforts are being made to declare Banco Chinchorro a world heritage site.'

While it is in documentary-style it is based on the real lives of the characters/actors: Jorge Machado, Roberta Palombini, and young Natan Machado Palombini.

A young man of Mayan roots, Jorge, marries an Italian woman, Roberta, but their feelings for each other change over time because their lifestyles are not compatible. Roberta wants to live in the bussling city of Rome and Jorge wants to live the wild and free life of a fisherman living above the waters of the Caribbean Sea. They have a beautiful son called Natan and Natan is taken to stay with his father in his little wooden stilt house (palafitte) perched above the Banco Chinchorro reef. While there, little Natan learns to snorkel and catch fish and learns about the local flora and fauna alongside his father and grandfather. He makes friends with a white egret which he calls Blanquita.

I just wish there were more movies like this. I was enthralled by the delightful story and the beauty of it all.

It is in Spanish with English subtitles.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2012
This film was great to sit back and watch. A story of a father and his son bonding. The scenery was spectacular, and the simple lifestyle was one I would like to try for a short while as it seemed like there were no worldly pressures. I liked the documentary style of filming, I would have prefered slightly more dialogue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2011
There is not really much of a story in the film, a boy from Rome visits his dad for the summer in Mexico and then he goes back again. But the dad is a Maya Indian, and a fisherman with a very simple life, and it is the description of this life, its quiet pace, its regularity and simplicity, and its breathtaking setting that makes this such a delightful film that takes away all of your stress for a moment. The director makes a half-hearted attempt to introduce a bit of a story about a bird that is part of the household, but disappears and dad and son go looking for it, but it looks constructed and becomes a slightly annoying distraction in an otherwise beautiful film.
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on 9 June 2015
The beauty of this Mexican film is its simplicity. It follows the time a boy Natan spends with his father Jorge before moving to Italy with his mother. The story of the parents' relationship is captured in the opening sequences with some well chosen still shots and short home-movie style clips. They love their son and care for one another but have grown apart. Jorge lives in a remote fishing community where Roberta could never settle. Jorge takes Natan to visit his home on the Banco Chinchorro coral reef where they stay in a house on stilts and go out in the grandfather's fishing boat. Nothing dramatic happens. They talk, or not, Jorge teaches Natan to fish & snorkel, they cook and enjoy their time together.

The camera work uses the full depth of field to capture the details of their days and surroundings. The camera angles, used on the boat capture the sense of movement and space out on the water. The scenery is stunning. The background of the fishing community is not sentimentalised - this is a working environment where the catch is sold on. The documentary style employed allows the scenes and sparse dialogue to unfold in a very naturalistic way. There is just a lovely sense of being in the moment and making the most of shared times.
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on 6 May 2011
A different sort of movie altogether.

Alamar is life itself, very natural and yet simple it immerses you in the life of the grandfather, his son and grandson as if you were almost there, next to them.
A loose dialogue line adds to make it feel spontaneous and real. Good underwater takes.

A childhood experience not to forget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2015
Very simple moving story. thoroughly enjoyed it!
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2012
OK so the other reviewers are going to hate my review! Perhaps if you are an avid snorkler or if you were a family member of Natan this would be an interesting film, but for me it was a waste of money. I bought it as a gift and now am very glad I decided not to give it away.

I thought it would be a gentle but interesting film about different lifestyle and culture, along with the father-son relationship. I also hoped it would give me a chance to practice my Spanish listening to the dialogue. Well first of all there is almost no dialogue, except in the first 2 or 3 minutes when it is in Italian. The story is almost non-existent. It's like watching an hour of an acquaintance's family holiday video with some nice filming of the sea.

Maybe with hindsight I should have been warned by the reviewers "I loved every frame of it" - ie lots of nice pictures stuck together, no interesting story. Not sure why this film was made except to give Natan a memory of his last summer with his father (which you'd of course want taped by a film crew) or to try and push for World Heritage status of the coral reef.

Don't bother with this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2015
Beautiful documentary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2015
such a chilled movie!
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on 26 July 2015
Interesting film, it can be regarded as mainly a documentary about fishing though.
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