The first time I watched Alamar I wasn’t sure what to make of it until toward the end. I didn’t get the point of it and thought it was a bit strange, long winded and lacking in any sort of meaty storyline. Where is this going, I asked?
Now I get it.
Alamar is a true/real life film following a boy who leaves his mother in Rome, to go and spend time on a fishing trip with his Mayan father in the coral reef region of Banco Chinchorro, Mexico.
The film is subtitled but easy to follow – it doesn’t spoil the flow.
Like any art form, different people will always take different things from it.
For me, this little film captured a simpler perspective on fatherhood, a father spending quality time his son, passing down what he knows (in this case fishing, swimming, painting, and handling a pet/animal).
The happiness of simply spending time together in the simplest ways, and seeing how much that time is cherished.
The pain of having to part, when the father is not the full time parent.
The father-grandfather relationship mirroring that of the father and young boy.
This is a film that encourages self-reflection, and perhaps insight into how a child or parent might be feeling where a parental relationship has broken down.
If non of the above, it is certainly an interesting cultural snapshot into of the lives of some of the Mayan people.
A simplistic fly on the wall film/documentary, very slow paced, no frills, no fancy camera work, no forced entertainment, poignant, refreshing, just simple, just real.
Father and son.