Paraguayan Hammock

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For sheer contrariness, let’s tip our hat to any film that would enter the hyperadrenalized Speed Racer zone clad almost entirely in long shots of elderly folk discussing the weather. (Take that, Emile Hirsch.) But don’t nod too reverently. Your head may not rise.

Bearing a leisurely title that proves only too fitting, Paraguayan Hammock will almost undoubtedly lull you into private contemplation of your own favorite bedding, as its married protagonists (Del Rio and Genes) sway in the hammock and bicker in their soothing Guarani dialect over the possibility of rain, the quieting of a barking dog and other passing concerns.

Eventually, they do get around to a serious subject: their absent son, almost certainly a military casualty in Paraguay’s ongoing civil war. Still, they can’t be totally sure, and as director Paz Encina modulates her shots to tighter perspectives and the talk goes voiceover, you realize that these are the ruminations of parents facing the worst possible future. Paraguay’s first movie to receive theatrical distribution here in 30 years was funded by New Crowned Hope, the same art concern responsible for Tsai Ming-liang’s dreamy I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone. Of course the film is gentle and suggestive. But you’ll have to provide any stirring emotions yourself.

Release details

Rated: NR
Release date: Thursday November 2 2006
Duration: 78 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paz Encina
Cast: Ramon Del Rio
Georgina Genes
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