Another Frontier: in No Man's Land
by Alfonso Rivera
- André Cruz Shiraiwa's debut feature, filmed in Catalan and starring Ariadna Gil, is an Orwellian fable that is very critical of the state of dehumanisation to which the human race seems doomed
Another Frontier [+see also:
interview: André Cruz Shiraiwa
film profile], André Cruz Shiraiwa’s debut feature, competed in the Official Section of the 47th Sitges Film Festival. The movie, with a cast led by Ariadna Gil, Mireia Ross and Llorenç González, falls within the dystopian genre and is entirely in Catalan. Cruz Shiraiwa, of Japanese and Brazilian origin, developed his entire career in Barcelona. There he studied film and built his résumé around audiovisual media by directing two short films (Killer Cockles and Más triste es robar, versión zaping), various video clips and advertisements. In Sitges his cinema dream was projected on the big screen of the Auditorium after five years of arduous preparation, notwithstanding help in writing the film from the ICAA and CDA, in developing the film from the MEDIA and IBERMEDIA programmes, in production from the Catalan Government and having TV3 as a co-producer.
Based on an original idea from Italian Aurora Sulli, film editor until now but ready to pursue her career as screenwriter, Cruz wanted to make a raw and interesting critique, of the fragrant frivolity of our modern-day world. Sulli, who had firsthand experience of testimonials of the neighbouring war in Yugoslavia and who declares herself a fan of the violent war trilogy by Agota Kristof (the first volume of which, A Notebook [+see also:
interview: Janos Szász
film profile], was adapted for film by Janos Szász), sought to capture all of that in a script – co-written with Cruz - who began with a style similar to The Time of the Wolf by Haneke and ended with an Orwellian universe in which TV reality shows overstep unimagined ethical boundaries.
Thus, the film begins with Hannah, a mother (Ariadna Gil) who, like Sophia Loren in Two women, wanders with her son across a warlike landscape, among tanks and helicopters, where one has to prostitute oneself just to get something as basic as a bottle of water. In this odyssey they run into a family-less teenager who joins them and together they end up forming a group in a refugee camp where, to obtain visas, they are subjected to tests in which they’ll have to sell something more precious than their own bodies: their deepest and darkest secrets.
The movie has two very different parts. While the first is a journey, a desperate search and a vicious battle for survival, the second occurs among the barbed-wire fences of the refugee camp that seems almost like a Nazi death camp, as everything there is governed by the horrendous rivalry that exists between its occupants. Cruz has acknowledged that in editing he changed the original story and that he sacrificed minutes in the first half which would better explain the attitude of the characters and why they end up carrying out barbarities worthy of vermin. Despite that, the movie stands as a fearless criticism of the exploitation of women, violence and the subjection of the human race to a system that rules it mercilessly. Produced by Cine de Garage, Another Frontier is looking for a distributor in Spain.
(Translated from Spanish)
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