Again and again in Araya, workers go to the sea and bring back salt and fish. Fathers pass on rituals of life and labor, their sons apparently unthinking as they accept their lots, and proceed as heir ancestors have done. At once lyrical and relentless, the documentary follows their daily rhythms, their treks to the shore, the baskets they load and carry, their weary walks home again. Awarded the Cannes critics’ prize in 1959, Margot Benacerraf’s movie is now restored and released for the first time in the U.S. by Milestone Films (the company who also brought I Am Cuba, Killer of Sheep and The Exiles to theaters and DVD). The workers are resolute, the film beautiful and also heartbreaking, resisting resists categories, leaning forward while looking back. Here past and future collapse, along with poetry and poverty, documentary and invention.
See PopMatters’ review.