Las Acacias review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Ruben (Germán de Silva) a long distance lorry driver spends the majority of his time alone, passing great lengths of motorway entwined landscape delivering timber from Paraguay to Buenos Aires. At the special request of his boss, and for an extra fee, Ruben agrees just this once to transport two pieces of extra cargo; a single mother and her five month old daughter, Anahi.
The woman, Jacinta (Hebe Duarte), is travelling across the country to stay with relatives and search for work, unable to support them where she is. This, and the discovery that Ruben has an eight year old son he has not seen since he was baby, is the only small pieces of personal information we learn about the strange travelling companions; yet as the movie progresses a tenderness and intimacy grows between them that is quite enchanting.
Many audience members will find this movie quite trying, the long expanses of silence not only reflect the unvisited and unknown stretches of landscape but also echo the internal silence of loneliness and solitude, emotions felt both by the characters and by the director, Pablo Giorgelli, himself.
Though nothing of much consequence happens during the movie’s 90-odd minutes one cannot help but feel that this journey has irreparably changed the lives of the two people taking it. The mood of internalisation, self-reflection and solitude slowly ebbs away as glances pass between the two and their physique’s become relaxed and almost welcoming; eventually rewarding the audience with a bright sense of hope and potential not only for the characters on screen – whom you are desperately willing to embrace one another – but for those sitting in the theatre. Though it won’t be to many people’s taste Las Acacia is a quiet and soulful movie, winner of various reputable awards at Cannes and elsewhere, and is the perfect movie for anyone feeling a little sorrowful or alone.