Las Acacias Review

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Score

Fantastic performances that stay with you and a director who isn’t afraid to let you think for yourself.

Truck driver Rubén (Germán de Silva) lives a self-contained life. The first few minutes of Las Acacias document his solitary progress through a day’s labour. Director Pablo Giorgelli shoots him in claustrophobic tight angles within the cab, revealing little sense that Rubén possesses any life beyond his one on the road. He washes over a sink in truck stops and seems to have no one to get back to in a hurry.

Rubén has agreed to carry a passenger on his return trip from Paraguay to Argentina. Enter Jacinta (Hebe Duarte). She wants to cross the border in search of work and is bringing her three-month-old baby with her. Rubén is unimpressed. No one told him there’d be a baby. He agrees to take them, maybe to keep his end of the deal or maybe because he is fundamentally decent.

He greets them gruffly, rudely even, and doesn’t help the overloaded Jacinta into the truck, despite the fact that she’s carrying her whole life in an array of pathetic looking holdalls.

The baby looks horribly vulnerable next to Rubén’s enormous truck and the heavy industrial load of logs he transports. A lovely visual metaphor is created with shots of the heavy load sitting right behind Rubén and Jacinta: they are both followed by an oppressive emotional weight. Jacinta is just as much of a closed book as Rubén. His tentative questions about the whereabouts of the baby’s father are met with silence.

Over the course of the journey, these two damaged people open up to each other culminating in an affecting scene in which Rubén drops Jacinta off to start her new life and agonises over whether to ask if he can see her again.

For a moment a look of hopefulness passes over his features and lights up his face. Both actors are excellent. Giorgelli leaves the ending open so that we can decide for ourselves whether Rubén and Jacinta will be able to make each other happy.

Anticipation

A Camera D’Or award at Cannes promises an interesting watch.

4

Enjoyment

A nuanced tale about two damaged people played by two brilliant actors.

3

In Retrospect

Fantastic performances that stay with you and a director who isn’t afraid to let you think for yourself.

3
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