Joshua BONNETTA, J.P. SNIADECKI / digital / 94min. / 2017 (USA)
The sun beats down mercilessly on all those who cross the Sonoran Desert between Mexico and the United States. Aside from the few people who live here, it’s the poorest of undocumented immigrants that make the crossing, who have no choice but to take this extremely dengerous route, followed by border guards both official and self-appointed. The horizon seems endlessly far away and deadly dangers lurk everywhere. It’s best to move under the cover of darkness; during the day, being exposed to the heat and sun is enough to make animals and humans perish. Their traces and remains accumulate, fade, decompose and become inscribed into the topography of the landscape, making the absent ever-present as life and death, beauty and dread, hostile light and nights aglitter with stars and promise all continue to exist alongside one another.
El mar la mar masterfully weaves together sublime 16-mm shots of nature and weather phenomena, animals, people and the tracks they leave behind with a polyphonic soundtrack, creating a cinematographic exploration of the desert habitat, a multi-faceted panorama of a highly politicised stretch of land, a film poem that conjures up the ocean.
Born in 1979 in Canada. BONNETTA works with analogue film and sound presented in various modes of theatrical exhibition, performances, and installation. He is an associate professor for Film and Video Art and Sound Art at Ithaca College in New York State.
Born in 1979 in Marne, Michigan, USA. He studied Philosophy and Film and Chinese Language and Culture. He then attended Harvard University, where he earned an MA in East Asian Studies and a PhD in Social Anthropology with Media. J.P. SNIADECKI is an artist, filmmaker, and anthropologist. He currently teaches filmmaking in the Documentary Media MFA programme at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA.