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El Mar La Mar (#110 of 1)

Berlinale 2017: El Mar La Mar Review

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Berlinale 2017: El Mar La Mar Review

Sensory Ethnography Lab

Berlinale 2017: El Mar La Mar Review

On paper, El Mar La Mar sounds simple: a documentary about life in the Sonoran Desert, specifically for the border control agents stationed near the U.S.-Mexico border and the undocumented immigrants who’ve survived the daunting trek across the area’s rugged terrain. But Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki’s documentary—made after Sniadecki had left Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, which is devoted to pushing the aesthetic boundaries of nonfiction filmmaking—often veers toward the avant-garde in its approach to exploring the desert and the topic of immigration.