mar la mar

V' 17

El mar la mar

Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki
USA, 2017
Documentaries, 94min, OmeU

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

El mar la mar

Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki
USA, 2017
Documentaries, 94min, OmeU

Screenplay: 
Joshua Bonnetta
J.P. Sniadecki
Sound: 
Joshua Bonnetta
J.P. Sniadecki
Camera: 
Joshua Bonnetta
J.P. Sniadecki
Editor: 
Joshua Bonnetta
J.P. Sniadecki

Production: 
Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki
World Sales: 
J.P. Sniadecki
Format: 
DCP
Color

Desolate, dangerous and disputed: a film about the boundary in the sonoran desert could have been a record of tragedy. Instead, Bonnetta and Sniadecki opted to let the landscape come to the fore. For EL MAR LA MAR, they visited this hostile environment on the border to the US for lengthy spells over the course of almost three years, filming the landscape, recording wildlife and talking to border rangers, aid workers and people-smugglers. Bonnetta and Sniadecki recorded their interviews only on audio. They are played back over shots of brutal landscape or complete darkness, rendering the stories even more harrowing. There are tales of migrants losing their bearing after being scattered by border patrols and wandering in circles for seven days. One farmer recalls seeing a man burned black from wildfire, still walking. “It bears much resemblance to the [refugee] crisis in the EU. The desert, much like the sea, is used to deter and in some cases erase,” says Bonnetta. (Philip Oltermann)