Seafarers who spend long periods sailing in tropical temperatures are sometimes said to suffer from calentura, a form of delirium. At times, watching Mariner of the Mountains can feel like just such a dream, in which Brazil-based filmmaker Karim Ainouz travels to Algeria, his father’s country. His destination is Tagmut Azuz, the mountain village where his father was born.
Beginning as a voyage on a rusty ship, this is a physical and emotional journey, one that, in voiceover, the filmmaker dedicates to his recently deceased mother. With his camera in hand, his encounters are heartwarming, as he learns of the remarkable love story between his parents, and the inevitable departure of his father.
The emotions, questions, and reflections triggered by his journey are tangible in the sometimes abstract and intense scenes that are interspersed with stunning shots of his country and its people.