La tierra roja, an environmental catastrophe in the heart of north-eastern Argentina
by Aurore Engelen
- With his third feature, Belgium-based Argentinean director Diego Martínez Vignatti delivers an eco-political western starring Gert Van Rampelberg and Eugenia Ramírez Mori
Pierre, a Belgian logger who has settled in the northern province of Misiones in Argentina, works for a multinational accused of discharging agro-toxins into the soil and poisoning the local population. As he goes about his work without asking himself too many questions, he meets Ana, a young and passionate activist who will open his eyes to the tragedy that he is partly responsible for. When the social revolt hits, Pierre will have trouble transforming his realisation into political commitment.
With La tierra roja [+see also:
film profile] (lit. “The Red Earth”), his third feature, Diego Martínez Vignatti takes a step away from the intimate and introspective style of his first two features (Tides and The Tango Singer [+see also:
film profile]), this time delivering a political saga mixed with an epic love story, and what is at stake here resonates particularly strongly. The law of profitability, environmental disaster, activism, the confrontation between man and nature – so many themes that we can all identify with. The ones putting up this fight are Gert Van Rampelberg (winner of the Ensor Award for Best Actor in 2013 for Time of My Life [+see also:
film profile], and who also appeared on screens last year in The Treatment [+see also:
film profile]) and Eugenia Ramírez Miori, who already starred in the first two films by Vignatti. Not only did Diego Martínez Vignatti write and direct the movie, but he also served as DoP on it, a profession for which he originally trained. Indeed, we have him to thank for the cinematography on Battle in Heaven [+see also:
interview: Carlos Reygadas
interview: Jean Labadie
film profile] by Carlos Reygadas, among others.
La tierra roja is produced by Entre Chien et Loup, which has accompanied Diego Martínez Vignatti since his feature debut, in co-production with Trivial Media and A Private View, and it had backing from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund and Screen Flanders. It is distributed by Paradiso Filmed Entertainment.
(Translated from French)