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Monday, November 04, 2013

¡Alambrista! (1977) d. Robert M. Young

Movie Review
¡Alambrista! (1977)
d. Robert M. Young
Criterion Collection #609

This title is an excellent example of the Criterion Collection "resdiscovering" a film that was either lost or close to it. Alambrista is a narrative film about the experience of an illegal Mexican immigrant coming to the United States and working in the fields.  Robert Young had a background in news/documentary film and this experience informs the look and feel of Alambrista.

 It isn't hard to see both how ¡Alambrista! almost came to be forgotten and why it is a great Criterion Collection discovery: the narrative of the illegal Mexican immigrant is an issue that has grown in importance since the film was made, and the "downer" subject matter and style make it a good example of a film that wasn't appreciated by the general Audience at the initial time of publication/release.

 The accompanying essay by Charles Ramirez Berg does an excellent job of giving a straight forward explanation of the genesis of Alambrista (funded by PBS, for one thing.) and the circumstances of the principal photography (skeleton crew of two plus actors.)  It's worth reading before you watch the film

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