¡Vivan las antipodas!
Victor Kossakovsky, Germany / The Netherlands / Argentina / Chile, 2011, color, DCP, 105'
Where would you end up if you were to dig a tunnel straight down from one side of the world to the other? This question has aroused the fantasy of many writers, children and now documentary filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky. He didn't just fantasize about it, but really went on a journey (albeit not through the earth) to film four pairs of antipodes: Argentina and China, Spain and New Zealand, Hawaii and Botswana, and Russia and Chile. There is no narrative to provide direction - instead, Kossakovsky lets us wander around the world while the music tells us where we are. In contrast to his earlier work, ¡Vivan las Antipodas! is a grander cinematic portrait in which the landscape plays a more important role than the people in it. But the director's signature style is recognizable in the details. We meet two bridge keepers in Argentina who devotedly go about their business. They enjoy the sun and discuss what the weather will be like next week on the basis of how a frog is croaking. Kossakovsky is playful with both his camera work and the editing. Sometimes he quite literally films the world upside down, or zooms out until the curvature of the earth bends the frame.