This is a striking, laudably unshowy debut from a young Chilean director, Dominga Sotomayor Castillo. Her film pleasingly pairs a freshening of the road-trip format with a telling emotional rite of passage as a ten-year-old girl (Santi Ahumada) accompanies her civilised but divorcing parents on a sentimental but possibly unwise camping expedition from Santiago to Chile’s wild northern territory.
What distinguishes Castillo’s film is the facility and accuracy with which she understands, remembers and recreates the fish-bowl vistas and claustrophobic intimacy of a long car-bound journey (ably assisted by cinematographer Bárbara Álvarez). But she also displays a trust in nuance and carefully observed detail to build audience empathy and involvement consistent with a child’s point of view. That and a restrained approach to performances, alongside her fine understanding of the impact of figures in a landscape, suggest a talent to watch.