In praise of director César Augusto Acevedo’s Land and Shade, Slant’s Diego Semerene writes: “[The director] props stunning images of man’s despairing relationship to the land on the barest of narrative bones, mostly a collection of long shots of characters trying to endure existence without completely shattering. They head to and from work in sugar cane fields, only to be denied their pay; they try to fly a kite on a windless day; and they build feeding tables for birds that never turn up.”
Augusto Acevedo striking debut feature, which won the Camera d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, opens Friday from Outsider Pictures. Below is an exclusive clip from the film, accompanied by a recollection of its making from producer Jorge Forero:
“This was one of the most memorable days that we shot, because all of the pieces started to fit together for the film. This was the first scene that the actors playing the boy and the grandfather shot together, and building their relationship was essential for the film. [Director] César Augusto Acevedo worked with the boy to help him feel comfortable and work through any fears that he had, which helped in creating a fraternal and strong bond between the two actors playing these characters.
Creating this link between the family members was one of the most challenging tasks due to the complicated nature of family—the innocence of the child who doesn’t judge this grandfather because of his past and the opportunity for the grandfather to build a new history with his family.
With a simple scene like this, we were sure that we were on the right track and that Land and Shade would be a deeply moving film.”