"Bombón, el Perro", Carlos Sorin's 2004 road movie set in the arid part of Argentine Patagonia, charmed Festival audiences with the story of a shy dog that did not want to comply with his master's desire to breed him. Sorin returns to Patagonia in his latest feature, The Window, expertly bringing the region's quiet splendour to life. Gentle and tender, Sorin's work once again shows the more fragile side of human nature in this nostalgic film about memory, aging and impending death.
Ill and bedridden, eighty-year-old Antonio (an astonishing performance by renowned screenwriter Antonio Larreta) awaits a visit from his estranged son, now a world-famous concert pianist. He wants everything to be perfect for the reunion, and the women who coddle and nurse him in his hacienda work non-stop to make him happy. A piano tuner arrives to make sure that the instrument is in working order, and the champagne bottle that has been kept in the cellar for forty years, awaiting a special occasion, is brought out for the welcome toast.
Unable to assist with the preparations, Antonio can only examine the world from his window. As he observes the magnificence of the land, his nostalgia grows and his memories of the past seem to permeate his room. Antonio decides to defy his doctor's recommendations, and secretly leaves the house, unseen by his faithful caretakers, to take at least one last walk in his fields.
The film is suffused with a sense of solitude. Sorin has constructed a world in which human interaction is uncertain; it is the characters' relationships with nature and art that are most significant. Stunning cinematography and superb pacing complement the film's quiet beauty as it gracefully takes us through the engrossing final day of its protagonist's life. - Diana Sanchez (From tiff08.ca)
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